BANGOR, Maine — A man filled his shopping cart at Hannaford supermarket on Union Street two weeks ago and then pushed the cart out of the store without paying for the nearly $270 in items, Sgt. Paul Edwards said Tuesday.
Police have been unable to catch up with the man and on Tuesday released a surveillance camera image of him inside the store on the department’s Facebook page and to local news media.
“It’s not the crime of the century,” Edwards said. But he noted “it’s just so easy” to use social media such as Facebook to catch criminals.
Since the department created its Facebook page in late 2009, it has posted images of shoplifters at the Bangor Mall, thefts at convenience stores and press releases about arrests. It has also used the page to disseminate information about parking bans during snowstorms and downtown concerts, emerging scams and other important developments.
Edwards said it is one of the most useful tools the department has for public relations and solving crimes.
The shoplifting suspect is described as between 6 feet and 6 feet 2 inches tall. He was wearing tan pants and a black hooded jacket when he left the store with the stolen groceries about 3 p.m. Jan. 31.
As store security pursued the man, “he fled on foot, leaving the groceries and cart behind in the parking lot,” Edwards said. “All $269.71 worth of items were recovered.”
Those with information about the case are asked to call Officer Jamie Fanning at 947-7382, ext. 95772. The department’s anonymous tip line can be reached by pressing ext. 6.
“People say, ‘What is the big deal?’” when minor crimes, such as shoplifters, are posted online, Edwards said. “We’re not losing any sleep over it, but why not catch the petty ones, too?”