Albany neighbors use surveillance video and social media to fight thefts

Albany neighbors use surveillance video and social media to fight thefts

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Several homeowners in Northwest Albany reported thefts from their cars in recent days.   One theft over the weekend was caught on camera.
One month ago Lawson Swan put up surveillance cameras because of theft problems outside his home.  Sunday he caught a thief on video.  Now he is using social media,  hoping police will catch and arrest him.

4 o-clock Sunday morning a man in a hoodie creeps out of the bushes at Lawson Swan's home and opens his truck door.  Swan admits he forgot to lock the door.
Swan said "I know in the past 3 weeks, there has been two times where I have left my car unlocked and they hit me both times."

The thief runs when a car drives by the house, and then comes back.  There was cash in the console, and that was missing the next morning. Swan checked his surveillance system, and checked to see if there were any other victims.
Swan said "Several neighbors. I know that night about 4 people said it happened to them that night."

Swan posted the video on his and his Neighborhood Watch Facebook Page. Neighbors are already sharing information from their surveillance video.
Lake Park-Merry Acres Neighborhood Watch Captain Russell Gray said "Had a silver or beige car with no hubcaps on the passenger side between 12:30 and 4:30 AM in the alley."
Gray said "This is a good medium to do it. It seems to work for most everyone. And it is tied in with APD, so they are able to monitor it."

Police say they know there are professional thieves at work almost every night, looking for easy targets. Checking for open car doors, never breaking windows.
Albany Police Crime Prevention Sgt. Phyllis Walters said "Lock your doors. Take away the opportunity for the criminals.  Or remove your property."
Swan hopes his surveillance system will catch this crook, or at least run him off.
Swan said "If they see it I'd like them to see I've got a video system.  Stay away from my house. But I think the more people who get these systems, the better."

Police agree, and hope more neighborhood watches use their surveillance to keep watch on crooks.
Albany Police have this video, and they are investigating.

Police hope lots of people share those photos on Facebook, and if anyone recognizes this thief, they will call CRIMESTOPPERS at 436-TIPS, and report him.

. Copyright 2016  WALB.  All rights reserved