Surveillance up, robberies down

Police say a Wednesday morning robbery at the Kwik Shop near 40th and “A” streets is the 17th at a Lincoln business this year.  They say so far in 2010, the number of robberies at local businesses is down compared to prior years, mostly because of the emergence of surveillance cameras.

Joel Larson is a supervisor at an area Super C and says, “there are cameras everywhere. On the counter tops we have bullet cameras that shoot people's faces and also cameras out at the pumps.”

At the four Super C locations in town there are anywhere from 10 to 15 cameras on you at all times.

They're not just any cameras; they take high mega pixel, digital images that come in color.  Larson says, “it's not the old black and white, distorted picture that you used to see on TV, when you could see it was a person, but you couldn't tell anything else.”

It's these high tech cameras and what they're doing with the images that Lincoln police say may be responsible for the low number of robberies at Lincoln businesses.  Ever since June of last year, they've been putting the pictures and videos online.  Chief Tom Casady says, “it may be the better job we're doing of getting better surveillance video out on”

Chief Casady says the website, which generates about 7,000 to 8,000 hits per month has led to big arrests and could be the reason why some criminals aren't committing the crimes in the first place.  “The word is getting out more and more that you will be caught on candid camera.”