During Wednesday’s update on the murders in Seminole Heights, chief Brian Dugan said he also has about two dozen officers sifting through hours of video. Images, captured by surveillance cameras at businesses in the Southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood.
They’re working to get through those video files as quickly as they can because it can be an incredibly important tool not just to capture images of the suspect, but to show what direction he's coming from. Which direction he leaves.
In fact, video that doesn't show the suspect at all could still be extremely important.
David Lee sees the significant impact having the cameras could have.
Lee owns the Seminole Heights building where a mural honors the victims of the recent serial murders. He’s big on personal privacy, but decided it was time to install a high definition security camera system.
And just maybe help catch a killer.
“At this point, because of the situation, you know, it kind of led me to be less concerned about privacy and more about just catching what's going on on the street,” said Lee.
Several people have installed video security systems in recent weeks.
On Tuesday, police asked Roger Boh if they could look at the video from his home security cameras. Unfortunately, Boh says - there wasn't much to see around the time of the latest shooting. He wished there was.
“Oh, absolutely. In a heartbeat. I would love to be the person to get a clue to solve this case,” he said. “I've gone back in the cameras and no, I noticed when the newspaper was delivered and some cars going by, but nothing of particular importance. And nothing around the shooting time.”
Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan says two dozen officers were now pouring through hours of video collected from homes and area businesses. Dugan says no one should assume because they don't see the suspect on their system that the video isn't valuable. It could still help establish a timeline.
The reason for that, says the Chief, is because say one house on the street has a video system that shows the suspect walking past. A block away, another house with a video system shows the suspect again. But say just one block farther up, a house with another video system shows nothing at approximately the same time.
That could be a strong indication, say investigators, that somewhere between house number two and house number three the suspect either lives, hid, or managed to get away.
Releasing a new video of the suspect Tuesday, Chief Dugan said in no way should this discourage anyone from sharing what their own cameras may have captured.
“There may be more video. We're still sifting through it. We just got an obligation and a sense of urgency in releasing that video so that the community knows what's going on,” said Chief Dugan.
If you have home-video in the Southeast Seminole Heights area, the chief also says you should review it several times, because you can miss something in the blink of an eye as you move through the images. And what may seem like something insignificant to you might be very important to them.
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