Smile! Web site videos help catch criminals in Edmond | News OK Feb. 2010

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EDMOND — For two years Paul Conrady has been searching for a way to help police solve neighborhood crimes.
His innovation is crimeseen.com, and it has already been successful in catching a culprit on surveillance video from a business’ security camera.

Conrady, the owner of Edmond Security, formed crimeseen.com so business and home owners with security cameras could post pictures or videos of perpetrators in the act.

"Police departments have very limited resources to chase after property crime,” he said. "We need to catch them twice as fast because if we do, we can eliminate half the crime.”

Already, the Edmond Police Department is a member of crimeseen.com.

"We’re very supportive of this. Any aid we can get to keep our neighborhoods safer and try to keep the criminals off the streets is helpful,” Edmond police spokeswoman Glynda Chu said.

Conrady said anyone can sign up to receive free e-mail alerts of crimes committed within a specified distance from their home or business.

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A link to a map on the Web site marks where the crime occurred and a list of surveillance cameras in the area.

Stacey Puckett, executive director of the Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police, said crimeseen. com can be a time-saving tool for police.

"I think where the biggest resource will be the ability to mark where security cameras are installed. So if there was an incident in the vicinity of where they are on the map, it can show law enforcement the one place to go to view video,” she said.

Crimeseen.com can boast a success story of sorts: A man caught on video in April 2006 trying to steal cameras from the Sparkle Car Wash, 1023 SE 29 in Oklahoma City, was identified within hours of the video being posted.

A former classmate recognized the man from a high school yearbook and posted a request to locate the man using Facebook.

The man identified in the video has not been arrested in connection with stealing the video cameras, Oklahoma City police said.

Steve Roy, the car wash’s owner, said he normally gives copies of his videos to police and posts pictures on the front door of his business. "I’m amazed at how fast someone was able to identify this man after I gave the video to Paul,” he said.

Crimeseen.com could help rural police departments with small technology budgets, Puckett said.

"I think every tool that we can provide them in these tight economic times is just that much more to our advantage,” she said.