Crooks are frequently "caught" on video - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Crooks are frequently "caught" on video

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Authorities are looking for this man for stealing ammunition from Moultrie's Walmart. Authorities are looking for this man for stealing ammunition from Moultrie's Walmart.
Det. Ketorie Sales of the Cordele Police Department Det. Ketorie Sales of the Cordele Police Department
The suspect on camera inside the Cordele Walmart The suspect on camera inside the Cordele Walmart

Several surveillance cameras caught a man stealing nearly a thousand dollars in ammunition from Walmart stores in Cordele and Moultrie, and now they're hoping it will lead them to the suspect.

Security cameras are used for everything from securing a home or business to bolstering public safety. Police also consider them an important tool in fighting crime.

In Cordele, a bold thief strolls by security camera after security camera in Walmart, each one catching his actions has he breaks into the ammunition case and steals boxes of ammunition Sunday morning. Police say video like this can be a helpful tool.

"The only think I could liken it to is having an extra set of eyes in a business or even at your home," said Phyllis Banks-Whitley of the Albany Police department.

Police say it recreates the scene, giving police little clues, like simply the way someone moves.

 "If it's somebody I know I may be able to pick them out by the way they walk, just their mannerisms in general," said Det. Ketorie Sales of the Cordele Police Department.

It can provide the vital clue police need to break the case. At the robbery of the Fresh Market last week in Albany, it led to a quick arrest.

"We had an officer actually review the surveillance video and recognize the suspect from the video and that led to his quick capture," Banks said.

Police say in the last 10 years the number of security systems at businesses in south Georgia have increased. While some businesses are still using older systems with VHS, low quality could lead to limited use for officers.

"The better the pictures, the easier it is to identify people," said Sales.

In December surveillance video at the Miscelanea Guate Mex store on Radium Springs Road was the only thing that gave police a lead that resulted in the arrest of 19 year old Sentos Vincente's two killers.

"In the unfortunate death of the Hispanic person on Radium Springs, we had no idea who these guys were, we put the surveillance video out a couple of times and started to get leads on at least their identity," Banks said.

Police say it doesn't necessarily solve their case for them, but often times it can create a lead and sometimes that's all they need. They say surveillance doesn't work alone. It takes a good relationship with the community who's willing to call in tips that can and do lead to arrests. 

Police say camera can often deter crime. Right now the city of Albany uses camera in its downtown area to keep an eye on crime, with camera fed back to 911 that alert dispatchers to large crowds or can be reviewed in the even of violence.

Since the 1990's Tacoma, Washington and Baltimore, Maryland have used video surveillance systems to help police crime areas. Both cities reported a drop in crime in areas under surveillance.