Police have advised a man named as one of Bendigo’s most wanted offenders to hand himself in, after he challenged them to “catch me if ya can” through social media.
Upon finding himself identified in a crime crackdown campaign by Crime Stoppers Victoria and Bendigo police, Joshua Diwell shared the story on his Facebook page.
Bendigo information officer Leading Senior Constable Sally Dunlop was among those to respond to the 20-year-old’s post, which called on police to “catch me if ya can”.
“As much fun as you seem to be having, it would be more prudent for you to come in and get these matters sorted out,” she wrote.
“At some stage you will come into contact with police. It would be better for you if it was on your own terms and timing rather than if located when you are on your way somewhere important.
“Your family would also appreciate you having your face removed from so much public media.”
The message was reinforced by several of Diwell’s Facebook friends, who took the opportunity to offer some advice.
Diwell is wanted in relation to an alleged burglary incident in February.
Police allege he failed to appear at the Bendigo Magistrate’s Court on March 2.
There are four outstanding warrants for Diwell’s arrest.
He is known to frequent Bendigo, Maryborough and the surrounding areas.
Leading Senior Constable Dunlop said police were aware “quite a few” of those identified in the three week campaign had interpreted efforts to locate them as a challenge, based on their social media posts.
She repeated her recommendation that those named in the campaign visit the police station and get the matters sorted on their own terms.
Two people have been arrested as a result of the initiative, which launched last Monday.
Bendigo Inspector Shane Brundell said both persons were arrested on the same days the Bendigo Advertiser published stories – one in the first week of the campaign, and the other on Monday.
Police and Crime Stoppers have so far named 20 people wanted on outstanding arrest warrants for property-related crime in the region.
Inspector Brundell said they had received “a lot” of information from the public as a result.
He thanked them for their assistance and asked that the community keep it up.
Inspector Brundell said there had been a reduction in property-related crimes such as burglary, theft of a motor vehicle and theft from a motor vehicle since the campaign launched.
To make a confidential report to Crime Stoppers call 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppersvic.com.au, or make a donation via the website.