GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — One week after the Grand Rapids Police Department asked the community to help identify a robber who targeted a 94-year-old man, officers have made an arrest.
“It was the community that came to us and said, ‘this is who did it,’” said Grand Rapids Police Lt. Cathy Williams.
Police arrested 18-year-old Antonio Terryl Wimberly, who’s in the Kent County Jail facing a charge of larceny from a person.
The felony offense carries up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Every Wednesday, Grand Rapids Police turn to social media to ask the community for help on cases in which leads have dried up.
They call the weekly feature #WantedWednesday.
“We really elicit the community’s help. We know that we can’t do this alone. We can’t solve some of these cases alone,” Williams said.
Last week, the post featured surveillance pictures of a man who allegedly stole a wallet from a 94-year old’s back pocket in early August in the parking lot of a southeast Grand Rapids convenience store.
“He had gone into a party store, made a purchase, put his wallet in his back pocket, and, in the parking lot, he was robbed,” explained Williams.
The Facebook post, which called the crime a “strong armed robbery,” elicited 130 comments and 496 shares, as well as the tips that ultimately led to Wimberly’s arrest.
“We were able to confirm that (Wimberly) was the person who did it, and he is now in custody in the Kent County Jail charged with robbing that 94-year-old man,” Williams said. “It’s a heartwarming (result) because people can relate, ‘that’s my grandpa, that’s my neighbor, that’s my pastor,’ and nobody wants to see that happen. So being able to identify him and bring him to justice is really a good feeling for everyone.”
People can anonymously submit tips and information regarding any case to Silent Observer.