An Edgewater man taunted Anne Arundel County police on the department’s official Facebook page to catch him after, they said, he violated the terms of his probation. He was placed in handcuffs within 24 hours.
About two weeks ago, the department launched a social media initiative called Wanted Wednesdays – a series of Facebook posts of wanted fliers to catch individuals with outstanding warrants.
Roger Ray Ireland, 28, saw his wanted poster on the department’s page on July 23.
“Yall will never catch me,” he wrote in one of his three postings on the thread.
Commenters began tagging members of Ireland’s family, also on the thread.
“Yo all yall people tagging my hole [sic] family bout [sic] my bi (business) stay tha [sic] [expletive] out my [expletive],” Ireland wrote in response.
Another commenter – whose name was redacted – wrote in response: “Wait what?? Isn’t that him right above my comment? … Dude, Roger, it seems like you have kids and/or one of the way. Do the right thing for your kids and take care of this offense. It will only be that much faster to get it over and done with… What if your own kids see this???”
Detectives followed a combination of leads and tips from community members as to Ireland’s whereabouts. Police tracked Ireland to south Baltimore, near the Anne Arundel County line on July 24. He was taken into custody without incident at about 1 p.m. Ireland was charged with violating his probation.
Court records show Ireland has an extensive criminal record dating back to 2002. Anne Arundel County police spokesman Lt. T.J. Smith said Ireland failed to report, or missed a meeting, per the terms of his probation.
The department’s Wanted Wednesday campaign netted two out of five arrests in its second week.
“We encourage anyone with outstanding warrants to continue following us on Facebook,” Smith quipped.
Anne Arundel County police have “ramped up” their social media strategy in recent months.
“It’s outside the box thinking,” Smith said.
Instead of canvassing communities and handing out fliers, “now I can hit a button and thousands of people get it,” he said.