The Belfast Police Department in Maine used Facebook to locate the owners of a lost camera. It turns out they had it in their lost and found box for two and a half years. They had tried locating the owner since 2012 without any success. The camera resurfaced when a woman called about keys she had lost.
The camera had hundreds of photos of people enjoying some tropical destination. The Bangor Daily News tells how Sgt. John Gibbs decided to give social media a try and see if one of their Facebook page fans recognized any of the people in the photos. With 1.23 billion monthly active users on Facebook and that the six degrees of separation theory is pretty accurate – this was a brilliant idea.
Within one hour, they had a hit! A woman recognized her friend’s boyfriend and his girlfriend on the photos taken in Nicaragua. The couple thought the camera had been stolen from their car. Instead, they had forgotten it on a rock. An honest person had found it and turned it into the Belfast Police Department lost and found.
The owners of the camera from Yarmouth were delighted to have the camera back. Imagine the surprise it must have been for them and how much fun reliving their trip to Nicaragua. They must have been glad also to get their Pentax waterproof camera returned.
Every day there are new ways in which social media is being harnessed. Even though the world population is growing daily, the world is shrinking in terms of how people are connected through the Internet. In an instant, information can travel around the world. Like anything, it has the power for good or evil. Hopefully, so much more good will come of it as with this story of an honest person that turned in the found camera, a police Sargent that thought outside of the box and community that was involved.