Improved Surveillance Camera Technology Helps Police Solve Robberies

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Friday, March 20, 2009

The technology of video surveillance systems available to banks and other businesses has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. Just yesterday, the crystal clear surveillance video of a bank robbery suspect gave Wichita Police a jumpstart on tracking him down.

Police were quickly able to identify Michael T. Maples, a 39-year-old Wichitan, as a suspect in the Thursday robbery of a Wichita Commerce Bank.

“This one was unique because they had good equipment in the bank. And the suspect stood right in front of the camera,” said Lt. Darrell Atteberry.

Banks don’t want to comment on their systems, but Ashraf Hamada, who sells and installs surveillance systems, has an idea of what type of cameras were used.

“From the quality of the camera, I think it’s an IP camera. An Internet Protocol camera. These are the new generation of camera systems that are on the internet,” Hamada says. “Five years ago we couldn’t tell, even if he didn’t have his face covered, we couldn’t see his face.”

Hamada’s computer store was broken into last September and even though the crime occurred at night, his surveillance system was able to catch face images of the suspects.

He says more businesses are beginning to realize their old cameras need replacing.

“Cameras have changed, resolutions have changed. We have a better picture. We have better quality,” Hamada says.

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