Search for accused killer recruits new BOLO program (VIDEO)

Windsor Police Deputy Chief Brad Hill on April 16, 2019. (Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

Very soon, you will see Mohamud Hagi’s face on your social media, on leaflets, on billboards and bus boards.

Windsor police have teamed up with the BOLO program which uses media to amplify information about suspects who are wanted by police in major crimes.

BOLO stands for ‘Be On the Look Out’.

Police have been searching for Hagi for the past 12 years after the shooting death of Luis Acosta-Escobar outside a Pelissier Street nightclub in 2007.

Senior Staff Sergeant Steve Betteridge had a message for Hagi.

“For 12 years you’ve been looking over your shoulder waiting for that one vehicle stop where you are arrested,” he said. “You are a 36-year-old man, and there is only one right thing to do at this point. Pick up the phone and phone a lawyer. Turn yourself in to the nearest police service.”

The search for Hagi has taken the investigation to Fort McMurray, Alberta, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Investigators contacted Interpol after hearing rumours their suspect was in Somali. At one point, police checked up on a tip Hagi was dressing as a woman in traditional Somali garb.

It is possible that Hagi’s appearance has changed in the subsequent years. Deputy Chief Brad Hill said an age-enhanced photo would be supplied to the BOLO program.

The program will target the Somali community in Edmonton and Toronto specifically.

Maxime Langlois of the BOLO program on April 16, 2019. (Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

Maxime Langlois of the BOLO program on April 16, 2019. (Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

“The luxury of being able to conduct campaigns on Facebook and Instagram is that it lets you target specific people or users, so we can target self-declared Somalis,” said Maxime Langlois with the program.

This marks the first time Windsor police have teamed up with the BOLO program, but it started as a nine-month pilot program in the Toronto area last May.

The Ontario Provincial Police has already partnered with BOLO in their search for Savang Sychantha; a Windsor man wanted in the murder of Riad Baroud, who was killed in Tecumseh. Her body was later found in a Chatham-Kent woodlot in April 2002.

The partnership also means the reward for information leading to Hagi’s arrest has been boosted significantly. Windsor police have already offered a $10,000, but with BOLO’s help, the incentive has been raised to $60,000 until October 16, 2019.