In a running exchange with a fugitive from the law named Jose Simms, a Connecticut police department made a deal with him in which he would turn himself in if he got 15,000 “likes.” NBC News noted, “Police said they were looking for 10,000 likes and Simms was looking for 20,000, but they split the difference.”
As of Thursday morning, Simms, 29, who has seven arrest warrants, had received over 22,000 “likes,” according to CBS News.
Surprise: he’s still at large.
“We have no idea where this guy is other than we think he’s in New York,” Johnson said. “This gives us an opportunity to extend our reach.” Simms contacted Johnson via Facebook Messenger last week asking when his wanted poster would be placed on Facebook. “He knew he missed court and that he has warrants,” Johnson said. “We started posting wanted people on Facebook and he wanted to know when he was going to be put up there.”
In the Facebook post requesting “likes,” Johnson wrote:
Here’s an interesting one…Jose Simms (The first warrant pictured) negotiated with me earlier this week (Through Facebook) and has agreed to turn himself in to Torrington Police if we can get 15,000 “likes” on this post (I said 10,000 he wanted 20,000, we split). It will be difficult but is doable. So please, “like” this post, and while you’re at it share it, Tweet it, Instagram it, Snapchat it, WUPHF it,(Thanks Jared!) (Pronounced Woof, its a reference to the television show, ‘The Office’…nevermind 😀 ), or use whatever other platforms are out there that I don’t know about. Then again, if you know where either of these guys are, you could always let us know that too, it’d save everyone from the suspense of the 15K….Let’s get it!! (L/BJOH, 5/22/19 @ 0302 hrs)
Johnson later updated the post, writing:
***UPDATE*** We are getting a lot of inquiries as to if Mr. Simms has turned himself in yet. As of now he has not. We will update the post again when he does turn himself in. Thank you to everyone who liked the post and messaged us with info. It’s all appreciated. -Lt. Johnson
Simms has been charged with numerous offenses, including a breach of peace and risk of injury to a child.
CBS News quoted Maki Haberfeld from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, who disapproved of Johnson’s methods, saying, “It turns this into a joke. People will start looking at these various violations of law as a game … This is 100% manipulation. And for police, it’s not an ethical thing to do.”
AP made contact with Simms through Facebook. He stated he was serious about the deal, adding, “I wanted to give them a little incentive for all the hard work they put in to catch me.” He said, “Looking over your shoulder every 5 seconds can cause a lot of stress.”