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'Do you know me?': San Francisco Police Department tools expand to find criminals
April 06, 2013, 05:00 AM By Bill Silverfarb Daily Journal

Images courtesy of the South San Francisco Police Department These individuals are being sought by police for either committing a crime or witnessing one.

Surveillance video has helped police nab bad guys for years but with more and more people becoming tech savvy, local law enforcement is increasingly finding ways to get the public's help in solving crimes.

Wanted posters and crime alerts can now be delivered directly to email accounts and Twitter has become a tool law enforcement uses more now to communicate with the public on crime trends, frauds or schemes.

In South San Francisco, the police department has an extensive online presence where it interacts with the city's residents about neighborhood watch programs or how to protect against identity theft.

The website also has a most wanted section, information on sex offenders and a feature called "Do you know me?"

Although the feature has been on the city's website since 2009, the police department has figured out a way to get the public to pay more attention to it by emailing the Do you know me? suspect information directly to residents.

It is a way to boost publicity for the feature and assist in the department's efforts to catch criminal suspects, South San Francisco police Sgt. Bruce McPhillips told the Daily Journal.

Just Monday, police sent out information on a suspect who has stolen iPhones and iPads at dental offices, auto dealerships and other businesses in South San Francisco the past few weeks. Two of the establishments the suspect robbed had surveillance cameras and police promptly displayed still images from the video on the city's website before sending out notifications by email. The thief, identified as transient Nicholas Anthony Simat, 26, was arrested Thursday after receiving a tip from the public. Police report Simat stole the phones to pay for his drug habit.

His image was displayed alongside at least 10 other individuals South San Francisco police want to contact who had their images snapped by surveillance camera.

Many of the suspect images, however, are from 2009 and 2010 and people in the images may or may not be responsible for a specific crime but may have witness information about the crime being investigated, according to police.

The images come from surveillance cameras at Pacific Market on Callan Boulevard, Smart and Final on Kenwood Way, Colombo's Liquors on Linden Avenue, Cash Loans, Inc. on Grand Avenue, U.S. Bank on Grand Avenue and the Costco on South Airport Boulevard.

Police also allow for residents to report crimes online and to view briefs on crimes throughout the city. Nextdoor.com is also being used by the city to foster better communication in neighborhoods.

To view the Do you know me? page go to www.ssf.net/index.aspx?NID=1017.

To sign up for alerts from the city go to www.ssf.net/list.aspx.

silverfarb@smdailyjournal.com

(650) 344-5200 ext. 106

 

 

Tags: police, south, images, suspect, francisco, information, south san francisco police department, do you know me


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