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Crooks caught on camera
OKALOOSA COUNTY -- Caught in the act....With cameras almost everywhere. Surveillance pictures of suspects aren't unusual. Okaloosa County deputies make arrests.
As an ordinary shopper here at Toot Sweet Kids in uptown station, I’ve got nothing to worry about. But if I were a shoplifter, you just saw my profile, you just saw my full face, you never know where those pictures will end up.
Owner Paula Moreland installed security cameras after a familiar customer shoplifted three times.
"After that I was so angry, and I thought I’m taking it in my own hands," said Moreland.
Just under a year ago, the Okaloosa sheriff's office launched a web page called "Take a Look, Catch a Crook." Suspect photos are posted, with a link to details of the crime. This woman is suspected of stealing a wallet from someone's purse, then using the credit cards. These girls are suspected of stealing someone's laptop in a McDonald’s restaurant.
Nicole Wagner said, “Within the first two weeks of launching take a look catch a crook, we had actually identified three suspects just from posting the photos, and tipsters calling in to give us information."
Facebook is also bringing in leads..... The photo of the purse theft suspect was shared 166 times. Craig Foster and his son Devon know they're on camera almost anytime they shop. They never give it a second thought.
Foster said "No, I just think that's the future, I think that's where everything's going, security. Big brother's watching and there's no way you can get away from it."
At one time, surveillance images were mostly seen by law enforcement officers. Now, they can rapidly be pushed out to the public.
"If they come in with that intent, and they see that you have security cameras, I would hope that it's going to deter 'em,” said Moreland.
If you recognize someone who was caught on camera doing something they shouldn't remember your tip to crime stoppers is anonymous.