Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

February 4, 2013

Gotcha!

Cameras, citizens help nab suspects, solve crimes

Publication of surveillance photos in thefts and other crimes frequently assists police in making an arrest. That was the case again last week when two suspects were nabbed in connection with a stolen credit card.

The two suspects, both Cumberland residents, are accused of stealing a wallet at the Star-Lite Roller Skating Center in LaVale, and then using a credit card from the wallet to make purchases at the Walmart in LaVale.

Police released a surveillance photograph of the suspects at Walmart to the Times-News. After the photo was published police were able to develop leads which led to the arrests.

Over the years there have been a number of occasions when this newspaper has published photographs and helped authorities crack a criminal case.

The publication of the photos shows not only how effective publication can be, but also indicates how the public is willing to become involved and call in tips to authorities.

Crime Solvers and neighborhood crime watch programs also are tools to help law enforcement. Since its inception, Allegany and Mineral County Crime Solvers has been directly responsible for resolving more than 1,400 felony cases and recovery of about $990,000 in property, according to Lou Femi, one of the organization’s leaders.

Residents can call Crime with information. The number is 301-777-4300 and the caller can remain anonymous. Crime Solvers offers rewards of up to $1,500 for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Crime is a community problem that requires community solutions. Tips from citizens is a major component of that solution.

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