Community listserv used to apprehend suspected hit-and-run driver
Posted November 7, 2011
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Residents of two Chapel Hill neighborhoods used a community mailing list to gather enough information about a hit-and-run for authorities to make an arrest, police said Monday.
Michael Patrick Harper, 21, of Chesley Lane in Chapel Hill, was charged with injury to real property, injury to personal property, reckless driving and hit-and-run. He was released after posting a $5,000 bond.
A driver hit a car parked on Leclair Street on Oct. 13, knocking the vehicle 11 feet into a nearby yard, police said.
People who live in the Ridgefield and Briarcliff neighborhoods were so upset that the driver didn't stop after the crash that they used the local listserv to collect clues as to the driver's identity, police said. The information helped police identify Harper as a suspect.
"We appreciate the innovative thinking on the part of the community, their willingness to get involved," said Sgt. Josh Mecimore of Chapel Hill Police Department. "To solve crimes, we need community members to step up and take an active role in it."