In Cabarrus County, North Carolina, law enforcement uses social media to help identify and search for suspects who are wanted in connection with crimes.
That didn't stop Derek Helms, a fugitive wanted for Rape and Kidnapping, from commenting on the Wanted Poster which was on Facebook seeking help to hunt him down with information that may lead to his own arrest.
Yes it's 2017 and times have changed, but the Sheriff's Department was quite shocked that Helms would actually take the time to comment on his own wanted poster giving up his identity without law enforcement even having to issue an interrogation.
However thanks to a bunch of good Samaritans who were monitoring the comments on the post Deputies were able to recognize that the suspect himself had commented. Sometimes the dumbest criminal award goes to, well the least intelligent people as described.
Deputies say he had a personal relationship with the alleged victim. “The case has been substantiated to the extent that warrants have been put out there for him,” Sheriff Riley said. “Since that time he has become somewhat elusive in the sense that he's denied coming in.”
A profile picture on an account that appears to belong to 28-year-old Helms, the Suspect, has made several public posts about the case. On most if those posts he proclaimed his innocence.
“When he made some remarks back on social media that he was not going to turn himself back in, we decided to put it on our Facebook page to get the story out there,” Sheriff Riley said.
Once the Sheriff’s office posted Helms’ information on their page, someone continued to comment to defend Helms, and it appeared to the Sheriff's it may actually have been Helms.
Helms made comments saying “Thanks to the crooked f*cking cops” blaming them for wrongfully accusing him and shifting his innocence to their targeting of him in the case. “That's obstruction of justice which is a violation in itself,” Sheriff Riley said. “If he is aware of those warrants and he continues to elude them, that's another criminal act that's possibly been committed.”
The Sheriff’s office was quick to return fire with their own comment, tagging Helms saying, “you need to turn yourself in.” That then inspired a firestorm of comments and more than 1,000 shares. Several people were shocked someone could be so bold.
“I can’t say that we've ever had anyone respond back on their own case,” Sheriff Riley said.
Sheriff's Deputies say that Helms may be driving a 2005 four-door silver Mercedes and could be headed out of town. If you see him or if you have any information about his whereabouts, call police or crimestoppers.