Nashville police have begun using the Internet to post surveillance images from crime scenes, along with messages urging anyone who recognizes a familiar face to call in with a tip, reports the Tennessean. The images from surveillance video are displayed as miniature photographic slide shows. Among events included: young men pointing guns at store clerks’ faces, women with baseball hats pulled down over their faces while allegedly committing credit card fraud, and a man wearing giant, round sunglasses while allegedly stealing shoes from a department store.
The mass viewing of surveillance images can be helpful in cases where the suspect has not had prior contact with authorities, said detective Matthew Filter. “Our hope is that someone in the public sees it,” he said. “If there’s not a criminal record, there is no way to identify (the suspect) through typical means we would normally go through. In a case like this, information from the public is generally a plus.” The site has generated more than 16,000 hits since it launched in November. The images are posted on the department’s Web page under the heading “Crimes in Progress.”