GARY, Ind. (AP) — Two northwest Indiana cities have turned to online reporting systems to allow citizens to report minor thefts, vandalism and other non-violent crimes without placing a phone call.

The Gary Police Department's online system came online in late May, and allows people to file crime reports through the department's Facebook page .

Department spokeswoman Lt. Dawn Westerfield tells The Post-Tribune that the online reports are reviewed by officers and can be updated or added to supplemental reports that also are reviewed.

Sgt. Michael Grennes is a spokesman for the Valparaiso Police Department. He says the department's online reporting system has been "very beneficial" to citizens and officers.

But he stressed that it should be reserved for more minor issues and that people should still call 911 for emergencies and serious crimes.

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Information from: Post-Tribune, http://posttrib.chicagotribune.com/