In a Facebook post, the police department wrote, “We are now in possession of a white substance that appears to be cocaine.”
“If you mistakenly dropped your cocaine today and were at the Super Dollar, please contact us. We would like to talk with you further about your property.”
The author of the post — Detective Ella Turner, a four-year veteran of the force — responded to the call Tuesday about lunchtime at the town’s Super Dollar store on West Virginia Avenue, the main drag in the town (population 2,200). The store’s clerk called police after finding “drug paraphernalia” in an aisle at the back of the discount store, which sits in a strip mall near an ABC liquor store, a Mennonite deli and a dialysis center.
Turner decided to get creative in finding the person who left the gram of cocaine behind: She turned to Facebook. For two years, she and the police department’s secretary have been in charge of maintaining the department’s Facebook account and often use a bit of humor in dealing with the town’s crime.
She put up her post about the cocaine find at the Super Dollar and — no surprise — it generated plenty of comments online.
Some Facebook commenters wondered who it belonged to. Among the suggestions, a soccer mom, a grandma, a doctor, a lawyer, a student. Some questioned whether the drugs would actually be returned to their original owner.
Crewe police weighed in to clarify.
“Would you really give it back?” someone asked on Facebook. “NO!” the department responded.
“We will not give you back your illegal narcotics. The narcotics are weighed, photographed and placed into an evidence locker to be destroyed upon the approval of the courts.” The response goes on, “We distribute lots of things such as lollipops to our favorite kids, and tickets to lead-footed friends, but we do not re-distribute your drugs. We hope this clarifies our post a bit more.”
One person named Steven Smith asked, “How much was it? Claiming he had lost 3.7 grams including the bag weight” and that he did go shopping at the Super Dollar.
The police answered, “Nope. Wasn’t 3.7 grams. Sorry.”
Another person named Aaron Zevgolis wrote, “I really hope the owner comes forward and claims this valuable substance.”
Crewe Police responded, “As do we.”
Despite the somewhat playful Facebook post, Turner said that she takes the crime seriously.
“We’re not degrading the seriousness of the drug problem,” Turner said. But she noted that if police simply wrote in boring language that they responded to a call of drugs at the Super Dollar, no one would respond.
“People like to hear about dramatic things that are happening in town,” she said. “We want them to realize we’re human and to talk to us.”
“They’ll pay attention if we put it like that,” Turner said. “If we’re humorous, that can get the ball rolling.”
So far, no one has come forward to claim the drugs.