TORONTO—A Toronto police officer whose tweet about a mysterious tunnel found in the city went viral says he hopes the lighthearted appeal will stir up tips for investigators.
Staff Sgt. Chris Boddy drew international attention Tuesday with his tweet: “If you built a tunnel near Rexall Centre in #Toronto give us a call, k?”
The tongue-in-cheek message was shared by thousands on social media and was also featured in newscasts in Canada and abroad.
The 24-year veteran of the Toronto police force, who followed news of the tunnel’s discovery despite being on a weeklong break from work, said he thinks the message resonated with people because they “don’t expect to see that from a cop.”
“Cops are just people too but we wear a uniform—that’s kind of one of my goals in using social media, to remind people of that and to keep it real,” he said.
It’s not the first time Boddy’s tweets have thrust him in the spotlight.
A back-to-school tweet encouraging students to reach out to kids eating alone in the cafeteria made the rounds after it was shared by U.S. talk show host Katie Couric in 2013.
“Dear Students: If you see a kid eating alone in the cafe, say hello and join him/her,” read the tweet.
Another message, this time about a stuffed animal found at Toronto’s Pearson airport, was retweeted hundreds of times and eventually led to the toy’s five-year-old owner.
So far, no one has stepped up to claim the tunnel as a result of the tweet but Boddy said he hopes his friendly tone will reassure whoever is responsible that it’s OK to come forward.
Police have made it clear there is no indication of criminal activity related to the bunker found last month near a Pan Am Games venue near York University, he said.
“I’d love for us to talk next week and say, ‘Yeah, somebody came forward as a result of seeing that tweet’ and it was who knows what, a university prank or whatever,” he said.
Investigators have said they’re trying to determine who built the chamber, which has since been filled in, and why.
Deputy Chief Mark Saunders told media Wednesday that police have received several tips and are continuing with the investigation.