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NYPD tracks suspects through social media

Socializing online is landing criminals in custody.

Police are searching for suspects’ photos on Instagram and Facebook, then running them through the NYPD’s new Facial Recognition Unit to put a face to a name, DNAinfo New York has learned.

Detectives are now breaking cases across the city thanks to the futuristic technology that marries mug shots of known criminals with pictures gleaned from social media, surveillance cameras and anywhere else cops can find images.

“It is the one time something you see on a television show is actually working in the real world,” said one top police official who went from a tech skeptic to a fan.

The official explained how the new technology worked after a recent street robbery where a woman reported her jewelry stolen by her gal pal’s boyfriend. She did not know his name, only that he was likely in photos on his girlfriend’s Facebook page.

“We did not have his name, but we found a photo and the Facial Recognition Unit got a hit,” the NYPD official said.

“It saved a ton of time and potentially dangerous investigative legwork.”


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