High Quality Surveillance Vital for Police - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

High Quality Surveillance Vital for Police

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WICOMICO COUNTY, Md. - Police are asking for the public's help in locating the suspects they believe are involved in four armed robberies over the past few days in Wicomico County.  Often times, police release videos and images to the public, but the quality is lacking.  Police are hoping more businesses will invest in high quality security equipment for their own protection.

Smile, you're on camera.  This phrase is plastered on signs inside and out of Crazy Louie's Pawn Shop in Salisbury.  The in-your-face attitude with the security system is done by design at the shop to help deter any potential criminals.

"I think on some level that helps you that people know, whether its on the streets or just the public at large, 'hey, they are not going to want to come here because they've got 8 million cameras all pointed directly at you.  Let's go someplace else where they probably don't,'" said Steve Kottman, General Manager at Crazy Louie's.

At almost every turn in the store, you are in frame on a security monitor.  And not just in frame, but in sharp clear focus as well.

"Yeah, you can get by on the cheapo set up that you get from a big box store but if it comes time to ever need that stuff, you're going to be a lot more unhappy that yeah we got a picture of them but no one can tell who it is.  Their mother couldn't  tell who it was because the picture was that bad," said Kottman.

Police said it is those high quality video and images that will go a long way to finding at-large suspects.  However, Sheriff Mike Lewis said it is all too common that members of the sheriff's office encounter surveillance equipment that lends no help to the investigation.

"Often time he will come back to us and say it is useless.  This equipment is antiquated, they've had it forever.  Many times they thought it was working properly but when a robbery occurs they find out is wasn't working period and hasn't worked in quite some time," said Sheriff Lewis.

The sheriff said that he hopes more businesses will make the investment into high quality equipment to protect themselves and help get criminals off the street.

Currently, police are looking for help from the public in four armed robbery cases over the past week.  On October 9th, a "Shore Stop" in Pittsville was robbed at knife point.  On the 11th, another "Shore Stop," this time in Hebron, was robbed at gun point by a man demanding money and who also stole other items.  And after Monday, police are asking for assistance in locating a man they believe was behind two separate day-time robberies in Parsonsburg and in Salisbury.

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