LAKELAND, Fla. (970 WFLA) – A new crime trend is surfacing. A local police agency is finding street gangs fighting on social media.

Lakeland Police Sgt. Gary Gross said gangs use social media to threaten each other and then carry out those threats on the streets.

“Now, that we’re having to deal with Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat - they’re using all these tools now to give their shout out to graffiti. They’re out there bashing each other via social media and that has lead to the increased amount of drive by shootings that we have had here recently,” Gross said.

Last weekend a drive by shooting in Lakeland left a 15-year-old with gun shot wounds in his back. Sgt. Gross said what the victim posted on social media helps detectives, by providing needed evidence to make an arrest.

Photo Credit 970 WFLA/D.P.