Facebook blog posts lead to purse-snatching suspects’ arrest

While loading groceries into her vehicle, a 65-year-old female had her purse snatched from her grocery cart Thursday around 7:30 p.m. A witness of the crime posted the information on the suspect vehicle to the “Hip Mt. Juliet” open group on Facebook.
May 2, 2014

While loading groceries into her vehicle, a 65-year-old female had her purse snatched from her grocery cart Thursday around 7:30 p.m. Officers with Mt. Juliet Police Department immediately responded to the scene to investigate the theft.

The investigation revealed that a white 1990s model Ford Mustang convertible pulled up near the victim, and a passenger jumped out and grabbed the purse from the victim’s buggy. The mustang quickly fled the scene.

A witness of the crime posted the information on the suspect vehicle to the “Hip Mt. Juliet” open group on Facebook. That post caught the attention of others in the community, and it generated additional information about the suspects’ possible whereabouts. Mt. Juliet Police noticed the posts, and the information led officers to the discovery of the suspect-vehicle and suspects.

“We are very appreciative of our vigilant community members who helped us track down the suspects,” said MJPD Chief James Hambrick. “Social media is a powerful tool, and I’m amazed by the amount of crimes our department has solved through social media.”

The suspect-vehicle was discovered at a home in the 200 Block of Whitnell Drive, where the suspects attempted to hide the car by covering it with a tarp. Further investigation at the home led to the identity of the suspects. Jonathan Boyd, 29, of Madison, was arrested and booked into the Wilson County Jail under a $2,400 bond, charged with Theft of Property and Forgery. Jacob Gerg, 29, of Mt. Juliet, was arrested and booked into the Wilson County Jail under a $7,500 bond, charged with Accessory After the Fact and Criminal Responsibility.

Boyd was also wanted out of Metro-Nashville for a felony probation violation, where the original charge was Attempted 2nd Degree Murder. The victim’s purse and contents were recovered and returned to the victim.

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