Police Use Neighbor Cameras To Catch Thieves - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/19/07

Police Use Neighbor Cameras To Catch Thieves

Thieves beware, because if you break in to a Lubbock home, you may be caught on tape.

As NewsChannel 11 first told you, Lubbock police are now using surveillance cameras all around town to catch criminals in the act.

Cameras caught Carlos Martinez breaking into a house and in November, and he's since pleaded guilty. The cameras are a new crime-fighting tool, which seems to be working.

There are no police in sight in a central Lubbock neighborhood. At least that is what it looks like. However, eyes maybe watching.

"Cameras that they are placed are in strategic locations wherever they will be most effective. It's not anything new as far as technology, it's using some everyday technology in a new more innovative way," Lubbock Police Department's Spokesperson Lt. Greg Stevens said.

For the past several months Stevens says detectives have been using surveillance cameras to catch criminal in the act.

"Providing electronic eyes where we don't have police man that we can stand at public locations and it's providing a view of public areas that we would not have," Stevens explained.

Police will not tell us what they look like or where they are placed. However, they will say is the cameras are mobile and put in public right-of-ways, such as alleys or sidewalks.

"These cameras are no different than if you walk into a convenience store," Stevens added.

Stevens says motion triggers the cameras to record images.  

In the prosecution of burglar Carlos Martinez, those images proved useful for the Lubbock District Attorney's office.

"Some new surveillance technology that they (police) have employed in very specific instances, we were able to use that tool to help us," Assistant Criminal District Attorney Will Boyles said.

A new tool which some in Lubbock hope are in their neighborhood and may have caught criminals on camera.

"A lot of our burglaries have taken place in the day time so, I just think cameras would be great," Nora Kopf said.

The police department is paying for seven cameras with state grant funds.

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