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Social media helps nab escaped inmate

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Emerald Queen Casino Crime Stoppers

When I started Washington’s Most Wanted with our Crime Stoppers partners in 2008, we had to catch fugitives the old fashioned way. We put them on television and asked viewers for tips to find them. Our first capture of 2015 shows how social media can also be a powerful force for good.

Take Tuesday night’s capture of Richard Robinson in Tacoma, for example. On Nov. 8, Robinson was a trustee at the Pierce County jail and was working in the kitchen area. As the trash was being taken out, Robinson took off from the kitchen and jumped a fence to escape. He was being held in the Pierce County Jail for two counts of Burglary in the 1st degree, three counts of Theft of a Firearm and two counts of Trafficking Stolen Property. Crime Stoppers of Tacoma-Pierce County posted his photo and information on their website,

A month went by and then the holidays passed. Still, Robinson was on the loose. Monday afternoon, I posted his case on the Washington’s Most Wanted Facebook page and also sent out several alerts on our Twitter account, @Catchwmw. Later that evening, Crime Stoppers got anonymous tips that he was at a home on East 28th Street in Tacoma. Those tips were sent directly to Tacoma Police who followed up and took him into custody at 11 p.m. with the help of a Pierce County Sheriff’s Department K-9 team. He is now facing a new charge of 2nd Degree Escape.

Thank you to all of you who follow our Washington's Most Wanted and Crime Stoppers pages on Facebook and Twitter. You are truly making a difference!! Robinson is WMW Capture #588.

“I add my thanks to Crime Stoppers and Washington's Most Wanted,” said Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor. “The good people far outnumber the bad people but WMW and Crime Stoppers build an information bridge that enables the good people to co-operate. That is what I call making a difference for the good. Thank you.”