Surveillance cameras help law officers solve crimes -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Surveillance cameras help law officers solve crimes

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

CAMILLA,  GA (WALB) –You now regularly see crimes in progress thanks to surveillance cameras. It's not only interesting to watch, but it's helping law officers catch criminals.

A lot of businesses have security cameras. But the placement and lighting of those cameras are key in solving crimes. You're looking at surveillance video from the Video Warehouse in Thomasville. Two clerks were robbed at gunpoint on November 29th. The video is all police have to work with. And that's often the case with many crimes.

"Make sure you have them. Make sure they are in working condition," said Investigator Kevin Sellers, Mitchell County Sheriff's office.

With Christmas quickly approaching, law enforcers want to stress the importance of surveillance cameras.

"They are set all over the store. The front, the back, the outside. And we all feel safe up here working," said Tangie Conners, a clerk at the Jack Rabbit Convenience Store.

The Camilla Jack Rabbit is well guarded with security cameras. Their outside cameras have even witnessed several wrecks at this intersection. And they're set to capture every angle inside too.

"Entrance and exits are the main thing. Second to me would be parking lots," said Investigator Sellers. And if you can, place a camera at eye level.

"People walk in we see the top their head. That doesn't help a lot. We need the whole face," said Sellers.

Law enforcers say it would be ideal if store owners could afford cameras with night vision but that can get costly. Instead leave lights on when you close up.

"If the lights are off inside the building the cameras can't see therefore they are useless," said Sellers. But some video is better than no video.

Take for example this video from a couple of Cuthbert burglaries back in October. We aired them on WALB News 10 and police got a call and made arrests the next day. And an alert viewer helped Albany police catch two men wanted for string of robberies back in March.

"When they select a camera system make sure it's compatible with most home based computer systems," he said.

So that police can remove the video, take it to court, and convict the criminals caught on tape. And make sure the system is up to date. Get rid of the VCRs. Get a digital system that you can monitor from another location when your business is closed. Also if you purchase a system with audio capabilities, it can help officers even more.

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