LPD: Surveillance video nearly doubles chance of catching criminals

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Lincoln Police said the department is seeing an increase in the amount of video footage it's processing for violent crimes. LPD handled 1,177 video cases in 2017, up from 815 in 2016, and because of this officers say they're backlogged.

Mark Whitehead is the President of Whitehead Oil Company and has 21 U-Stop convenience stores in the area. He said he put in 14 surveillance cameras with sound at his 21st and K streets location.

"Some of the systems are set up strictly to watch the aisles and the customers, and others are for internal control as well," he said.

If a crime does happen, the surveillance video goes to LPD's Jared Minary, the Forensic Video Technician.

"Anything that has video evidence for a case for the Lincoln Police Department, if they don't know who it is, it will come through my office, we end up pulling pictures and those pictures are what ends up on Crime Stoppers," he said.

Minary said cases with images that go up on Crime Stoppers have a 40 percent chance of being solved whereas cases without an image have about a 25 percent chance.

"It makes it harder if you don't have images because that's simple evidence, if you don't have a fingerprint it makes it harder to find the bad guy," said Minary.

But, he said just because the amount of video cases is going up doesn't mean crime in the area is increasing.

"It simply means that we have more video readily available for just about every crime that comes through," said Minary.

With the increase of video and only Minary working in that department, he said they're getting backlogged and have to prioritize. This means a crime like a burglary could take up to six months to get on Crime Stoppers.