Rosenberg Police Department exposes accused criminals on Facebook

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by Drew Karedes / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on June 6, 2014 at 10:50 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 6 at 10:50 PM

ROSENBERG, Texas -- They are photographs of suspects taken moments after alleged crimes and posted on Facebook for the entire community to see.

Rosenberg Police says it includes photographs of accused criminals on social media for transparency.

The department prides itself on keeping residents informed of who has been allegedly committing crimes.

“You come to Rosenberg, and you commit a crime, that camera could be there and you could be featured on our Facebook,” explained Sgt. Ariel Soltura with Rosenberg Police.

The family of one of the suspects featured in a recent post disagrees with what Rosenberg Police is doing.

“It hurts. It’s embarrassing,” said Erica Mayorga, whose son’s photograph is posted on the page. “I hadn’t even come home to tell the kids yet.”

A picture of 25-year-old Samuel Villaloboz being arrested was posted on Rosenberg Police’s Facebook page on Thursday.

Villaloboz is accused of stealing more than $200 worth of merchandise from Target. Police said he also had a warrant.

The suspect’s family acknowledges that he deserves to be punished in some way. However, the family claims it is also being punished by a growing number of not-so-nice comments on Facebook.

“I just want them to take it down. That’s all,” cried Mayorga.

KHOU spoke with a number of residents in Rosenberg.

The majority stood behind their police department’s approach on social media.

“Maybe it will stop them from doing it next time. When you’re embarrassed, you don’t want to do it again,” said resident Staci Paul.

Rosenberg Police Department says their goal is not to humiliate but educate. They posted the following message on their page:

“No matter if it's 50¢ or $500, here in Rosenberg you will probably go to jail if you are caught shoplifting! If you are planning on coming to Rosenberg and stealing, we recommend you KEEP ON DRIVING!”

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