Cell phone picture on Facebook leads to arrest warrant
CHAMPAIGN — A robbery suspect who took his picture on a stolen cell phone that ended up on Facebook has been identified.
Champaign police detective Don Shepard said he obtained a warrant Tuesday charging Korey Woodard, 21, of Chicago, with robbery.
Three weeks ago, Shepard turned to The News-Gazette and other local media asking for help in publicizing a picture that turned up on the Facebook page of an 18-year-old man who had been mugged on Feb. 28.
The incident happened about 3 a.m. in a parking lot near the corner of Third Street and Gregory Drive. Five or six men approached the University of Illinois student, knocked him down, took money from his wallet and made off with his cell phone.
The man had his cell phone set to upload new photos automatically to his Facebook page when his phone is connected to a computer.
The smiling face of Woodard popped up on the victim’s Facebook page about two days after the attack. After circulating the picture among law enforcement collegues with no results, Shepard went to the media.
“The next (day) I have a call and the caller says, ‘I know who it is. I went to school with him,’” Shepard said, adding that the caller remained anonymous.
Shepard got enough information from the tipster to track Woodard down and was finally able to make time to go to his house last Thursday, accompanied by two Chicago police detectives.
“He admitted he took the picture of himself,” said Shepard, adding that Woodard did not say where or under what circumstances.
The conversation lasted about 15 minutes before Woodard terminated it.
Shepard said the victim identified Woodard as one of the men who attacked him.
Shepard took all that information to the state’s attorney’s office, which on Tuesday obtained a warrant for Woodard’s arrest for robbery. A judge set bond at $50,000.
Shepard said he called Woodard early Wednesday afternoon to let him know of the arrest warrant and suggested that he could turn himself in either in Chicago or Champaign.