Resident hopes social media will solve hit and run case

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Posted Monday, July 20, 2015 --- 5:30 p.m.

It's video that may shock you, but Beloit police are hoping it helps them solve a crime. They're investigating a hit and run involving a motorcycle. Investigators have seen video of the incident, thanks to someone who posted it to social media. But they say that shouldn't be the first place you turn with footage like that.

The intersection of Liberty and Vine in Beloit can be seen from cameras that have been installed at a private residence. The man who lives there installed them after reports of break-ins and suspicious behavior in the area. He declined to do an on-camera interview, but says while going through footage from Saturday evening, he says he saw a hit and run. He posted the video to Facebook. Beloit police say there are pros and cons to posting footage like that.

Beloit Police Chief David Zibolski says, "I think the pro is getting the community involved and helping us solve crimes, which is outstanding."

But authorities don't want residents to get ahead of an active investigation.

Zibolski says, "Until we've actually talked to the person and look at the video and we can confirm that it's related to the incident that we're investigating, we really don't like to see it posted because at this point how do we know that it's related, we may be starting people off on a tangent of searching for the wrong suspect video."

The resident who posted the surveillance video said he's seen too much violence and crime in his community and he just wanted to start a conversation. He says it's all in hopes people will adhere to the saying 'See Something, Say Something.' But police say don't forget to keep them in the loop as well.

Zibolski says, "I think that's really just our big message to the community is if you have stuff, please get a hold of us first, we'll get out there, we'll talk to you and we'll take it from there."

A family member of the Beloit man who was riding the motorcycle says he's currently in the hospital with a broken femur, but is otherwise doing OK. If you have an information on this incident, please contact the Beloit Police Department at 608-364-6800.