An issue in Big Lake this week has caused police to issue a statement on the importance of notifying law enforcement if you see something suspicious.

A woman in Big Lake posted on Facebook this week about a truck she saw driving through a neighborhood taking photos. In her post she said:

This creeper man was taking pics of houses on Fair Meadow Drive. But what irritated me is when he rolled down the window to clearly take a pic of my son and neighbor boy at their bus stop. I'm not OK with that! Be on the lookout!

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She also included a picture of the truck, which of course sparked a frenzy of sharing on the social media platform. The Big Lake Police Department then made a statement on their own Facebook page the next day from Chief Joel Scharf:

Facebook is not a replacement for contacting law enforcement when suspicious activities are observed.

I immediately asked an officer to run the license plate, and speak to the driver. What we found out, was this was an older gentleman known to us, who was looking for an address. He had pulled over, rightfully so, to use his cell phone to call for directions.

Officers talked to the man again the following day, and he was in tears. He had gone to several places in the community and been called names like "pervert". Police stated that if this suspicious activity had been reported to the department instead of Facebook this issue could have been dealt with without devastating a long time resident of the town.

This is a very important message for everyone of us with an online presence. If you see something, the best course of action is to notify the authorities before posting anything.

The Big Lake Police department has also changed their profile picture on Facebook to include Roger, the gentleman that went through this all, saying they are proud to call him a friend. The comment section is filled with an outpouring of support for Roger, telling kind stories and sending well wishes.