In the old days, detectives at a crime scene would scour the area for witnesses and physical evidence. Now, says the Philadelphia Inquirer, they also look for something else, and usually they find it: security cameras. The growing number of cameras installed to enhance the safety of public buildings and private homes is also providing police with invaluable evidence. “The technology has definitely evolved,” said Lt. Frank Vanore, a Philadelphia Police Department spokesman. “It’s becoming more important, and we’re getting better at working with it.”
Camera footage helped lead police to a teen charged last week with a popular waitress. After her body was found, local residents provided police with a list of cameras at nearby businesses and apartment buildings. Soon, detectives were working around the clock, viewing hundreds of hours of footage taken by dozens of cameras. Cameras caught the suspect as he spent at least an hour biking around the area. Police eventually focused on footage from cameras. One showed the victim biking past the suspect, and his then making a U-turn to follow her. Experts who study the use of security cameras in American society say that at this point, criminals ought to know better. Cameras are everywhere.