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Reddit sleuth helps police identify car part, leads to fatal hit-and-run arrest

A Reddit sleuth helped identity of the piece of metal (left), which led to an arrest after a fatal hit-and-run incident in the State of Washington (Trooper Johnna Batiste/Washington State Patrol)

A Reddit sleuth helped the police identify car-part, that leads to an arrest after a fatal hit-and-run incident in the State of Washington.

On Aug. 9, Washington State Patrol Trooper Johnna Batiste tweeted a picture of the car part. “Troopers and detectives are still looking for a black car believed to be involved in this mornings tragic cyclist fatality. If you know anything about this collision, can call you with the Washing State Patrol.”

The road is open SR7/320th. Troopers and detectives are still looking for a black car believed to be involved in this mornings tragic cyclist fatality. If you know anything about this collision, can call you with the Washing State Patrol. pic.twitter.com/pafJLeh54i

— Trooper Johnna Batiste (@wspd1pio) August 9, 2018

The photo of the small piece of metal was placed on the “whatisthisthing” subreddit, which is used to identify objects, plants and animals, according to the BBC. A user on the subreddit, “JeffsNuts,” who describes himself as a Maryland State Vehicle Inspector, identified the object as a headlight bezel from a 1988 Chevy Silverado.

A number of other users also weighed in on the piece of metal.

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On Tuesday, Batiste tweeted that the subreddit important information that helped the police arrest in the case. “WSP detectives made an arrest today (Thursday’s fatal cyclist hit and run in Eatonville. Reddit-users to identify photographed broken car part as a mid-1980s Chevy truck headlight assembly. Local anonymous tip confirms and led to the arrest of a driver of a Chevy 1986 K-10,” she wrote.

WSP detectives made an arrest today (Thursday’s fatal cyclist hit and run in Eatonville. Reddit-users to identify photographed broken car part as a mid-1980s Chevy truck headlight assembly. Local anonymous tip confirms and led to the arrest of a driver of a Chevy 1986 K-10. pic.twitter.com/WaIlkkClfr

— Trooper Johnna Batiste (@wspd1pio) August 14, 2018

The news was welcomed on the subreddit. “You did it, reddit,” posted one user. “Like you/JeffsNuts.”

The stress of the potential of Internet forums for good, another user drew comparisons with the 2015 incident when a Reddit user helped alert another commenter on the presence of carbon monoxide in his house.

“This is the coolest thing to happen to reddit since the carbon monoxide incident,” the user wrote.

“Sure. Really cool to see some actual good come out of this,” added another user.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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