Pictures of suspects circulated through Facebook, Twitter and Nixle (a website and alert system used by police departments) have yielded tips for the Alameda Police Department, a spokesman said Friday.
The first photo, released by the APD on Dec. 26, is of a woman inside the US Bank at South Shore Safeway who allegedly tried to pass fraudulent checks.
The second photo, released on Jan. 4, is of a woman suspected of trying to cash a fictitious check at the First Community Bank in Nob Hill Foods. Leads have linked the second suspect to possible similar crimes in other jurisdictions.
"We’re grateful that we’re getting the tips and we think it’s going to be a helpful program both for us and the community," APD's Lt. Sean Lynch said.
"It's a new thing we're doing," he said. "Regarding these specific cases we have received tips and we're working on those."
Lynch cautioned that information from the public, while valued and appreciated, does not yield immediate results.
"If someone calls up and says it's so-and-so, we need to check into that, of course," he said. "Sometimes it's as simple as matching a picture," sometimes not, he said.
Lynch urged Alamedans to reach out with their tips whenever they have information about a possible crime.
"We obviously want to encourage folks to give us tips whether they see something on our Facebook or not," Lynch said. "This is just another tool to enhance our ability to have that interaction with the community and to enhance our ability to solve crimes."