Several local police departments have signed up to use the new website idthisperson.com in an effort to locate people they would like to speak with. Created by two police officers, the site offers a good incentive for people to speak up, paying a $25 gift card to the leads that actually pan out.
Police from Oswego, Aurora, Montgomery, St. Charles, and Yorkville are already on board, submitting photos of people walking through stores and standing at retail counters. No information is provided to the website visitors, aside from the photos. They aren’t told what the person is wanted for or the criminal offense they might be connected to. In some cases, the police say, the person is only wanted because they believe they might have information that can assist with a case.
Cops can’t do much with a grainy surveillance photo. Unless they know the person personally, the photo is typically used to verify other leads, but not as the key that leads police to a particular suspect. They are hoping this new site will encourage citizens to get online and share what they know.
The $25 gift certificate is sent out once the person has been identified and only if the tipster provides their email address. While most of the already submitted photos involve retail establishments, the Beacon News indicates it could be used for crimes of any kind. The website itself states that it is specifically interested in identity theft offenses.
Surveillance cameras were, at one time, a rare sight in a store. Now you can find them everywhere, from the grocery store to the street corner. Police frequently use cameras to not only prevent crime but also to potentially help solve it. Often the pictures on these cameras, however, are not high quality and make it difficult for the investigation to identify someone with any degree of certainty.
Still, we most often see these sorts of photos and video clips in relation to robberies and thefts at stores. Although you would think such a video would be a nail in the coffin for someone charged with a crime, that isn’t always the case. Discussing all of the evidence, including photos and videos, with a local defense attorney can help you understand your options and how you might be able to avoid the worst of the potential consequences you face.
Whether or not you were caught on camera, if you are facing a criminal charge, contact us today to discuss your case.