Surveillance Video Tapes Play Crucial Role Convicting Criminals

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We've all seen the tape replay. Authorities say the man in the surveillance video tape is Joseph Smith. He approached and then abducted 11-year-old Carlie Brucia.

It was taken on Sunday at a car wash in Sarasota, and within three days of the video being replayed on every major news channel in America, police had a man in custody.

In Panama City alone, security cameras were instrumental in sealing more than 25 cases this past year.

"We've identified many bank robbers just because of surveillance cameras. Not only have we captured them, but we've convicted them in court because of the video cameras. A picture’s worth a thousand words," Chief David Slusser of the Panama City Police Department says.

And new technology is proving that pictures can be worth even more than a thousand words. The security camera at that car wash in Sarasota recorded in color.

"Color is good, especially if it's something that just happened like an Amber Alert 'cause you can see the color of the vehicle and clothing they're wearing," Mike Horsley of Security Equipment Company says.

Horsley says most security cameras aren't even hidden. Instead business owners keep them out in the open so criminals can see them.

"Cameras are definitely a deterrent. People will realize that they can be identified. They can see their face, vehicle, and clothes. It will definitely deter a lot of things," Horsley says.

In the case of Carlie the security camera may not have been a deterrent, but Chief Slusser says it will most certainly ensure Joseph Smith can never do this again.