Surveillance camera database solving crimes, more wanted

Surveillance camera database solving crimes

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - We see security cameras all over town, it is a sign of the times. What they capture can be valuable to police when a crime happens.

But often canvassing an area can be time-consuming for police.

Some camera systems only hold video for 24 hours. Now the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office has come up with a way to speed the process up, which includes a registration system for home and business cameras.

The registration was set up some months ago, and 1200 cameras are currently in the database.

It is just a list of where cameras are nothing more.

With the push of a button a detective can see what cameras are near a crime scene.

There is no electronic hook up to the cameras and the system is only available to law enforcement.

A believer is Ricardo Sandoval, owner of Fatcats in Tremont.

His 10-camera system was put up to protect his business and employees.

It paid extra dividends when a woman came to meet her husband for lunch. She was approached by a purse snatcher.

"I actually chased the guy after the crime because somebody in the restaurant yelled somebody, a lady's being mugged," said Sandoval.

The bad guy got away, but not really. The cameras caught the crime, detectives used it to track down the robber and put him away for 12 and a half years.

County prosecutors say this is exactly what the camera registration system was created for to provide safer neighborhoods.

"It allows businesses to take stock in the community they're serving. It allows residents to get involved with law enforcement efforts," said Eleina Thomas, who heads up the program for the prosecutor's office.

"I want to be part of the solution you know. This isn't gonna happen here so that's why I put these cameras up.  A neighborhood, a great neighborhood," said Sandoval.

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