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A screengrab from the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary's Facebook page. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
A screengrab from the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary's Facebook page. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Newfoundland fugitive turns himself in after Facebook exchange with police Add to ...

A Newfoundland man who promised in a Facebook post to turn himself in on five arrest warrants has kept his word.

The story played out on social media Monday for all to read when Brandon Melbourne took exception to comments on the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary’s Facebook page likening him to a person wanted for an armed robbery at a St. John’s bank on Friday afternoon.

The constabulary had posted pictures of Melbourne, who was wanted on a number of warrants. They had also separately posted pictures of a suspect in the robbery at the Bank of Montreal.

When some people posted comments that the bank suspect looked like Melbourne, he responded on the page saying it wasn’t him, and he would be turning himself in on the warrants later in the evening after he had done “a few things.”

Staff Sgt. Tim Buckle of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary confirmed in an interview Tuesday that Melbourne arrived at the police station at 9:20 p.m. local time on Monday.

Before Melbourne’s surrender, media spokesman Const. Geoff Higdon was enthusiastic about the effectiveness of social media as a crime-fighting tool, noting that the constabulary’s “Wanted Wednesdays” have resulted in the arrests of all 18 people profiled.

“Social media is a really good way to tap into the community. A lot of people want to see justice,” he said Monday.

He noted that another suspect who engaged on social media with the RNC last year, Rodney Constantine, also turned himself in as promised.

“I posted a thank-you. He kept his word,” said Higdon.

The officer said he tries to treat suspects with respect.

“They’re people too,” Higdon said. “He’s accused of a crime but at the end of the day we need to be respectful.”

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