Keeping watch, surveillance cameras used to fight crime

By Josh Harvison - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Jonesboro Police Wednesday told Region 8 News they are happy to receive surveillance video to solve tough cases. According to Sgt. Steve McDaniel, police have been able to close hundreds of cases where surveillance video was needed to identify a suspect.

"Throughout the history of us looking at video evidence, it's been a very good tool for us to be able to identify suspects in crimes, especially on robbery or a burglary or somewhere where they had surveillance videos," said McDaniel.

Police regularly use surveillance video to identify suspects. Crimestoppers, a story seen by viewers in many television markets, is a segment designed to ask the public for tips. Police use those tips for possible leads.

According to McDaniel, surveillance video is the most difficult evidence to disprove; however, it's not fool proof.

"There have been a few where someone may have not been from this area where it's harder to get an identity on them," said McDaniel.

Play-It-Again Sports has been victimized by thieves over the last several months. Steve Curry, who has owned the business since 2008, said surveillance cameras and motion sensors have helped deter theft.

"The security system that we put in allowed us to do monitoring in terms of video monitoring of the store," said Curry.

Curry's business operates on mostly new equipment, but 20% involved used merchandise. He said the franchise averages $3,000 on security equipment for each store. Curry spent $4,000.

"We have motion sensors. We have entry and exit, just about everything is covered. It was a really thorough system that was put in," said Curry. "Some of that were just the options that it allowed me. Remote access to the system and these kinds of things that I felt like were new technology that was available that I just wanted to bring in"

Curry said a man stole a pair of soccer goalie gloves earlier this year. The merchandise, worth $30, was stuffed into a pair of jeans during store hours. The suspect got away and has not yet been captured.

"It was frustrating and what was frustrating about it is you've got somebody that's stealing from you," said Curry. "We saw the video afterwards. It was after the fact, and we've learned to be more proactive in interacting with customers and aware of the customers in the store and this kind of thing."

Curry said most items stolen from his business are small and can fit into tight spaces easily.

"The ones that we're aware of, we can count them on one hand. Honestly and I think a security system does deter from that some," said Curry. "Our employees can see the video. They can see the action taking place. They know what to look for and the person who took the item and they can be on the lookout for that person."

"I can watch it anytime when I'm not in the store via the internet. I have a link to the security system so I can watch it as its happening. It allows me to be comfortable when I'm not in the store to see what's going on," said Curry.

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