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Philly 'Video Villains' Catch Crooks on YouTube

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By Jason Beahm on March 08, 2011 12:16 PM

Social media and the Internet open the door for a lot of possibilities for law enforcement. Have you heard about the "Video Villains," for example? It's a "most wanted list" that the Philadelphia Police Department released on YouTube.

The concept is to give people the chance to solve crimes from their cell phones, computers and laptops, FindLaw's Philadelphia Criminal Law Blog reports.

"These are really, really good facial shots of these individuals," says Police lieutenant Ray Evers, "and our goal is to get these suspects identified, arrested, and get them off the street."

The video details the top 10 most wanted criminals captured on tape. The Philadelphia Police Department also posted still images to Flickr. Police are also updating their Facebook and Twitter accounts with Video Villain crime details. Finally, references and links to the original surveillance videos will be made available on the Philadelphia Police Department website: Phillypolice.com.

The Philadelphia Police Department Top 10 Most Wanted list is designed to catch suspects-at-large who were caught on surveillance video while committing a crime.  Video Villains is designed so that communities can get involved in making Philadelphia a safe place to live, work and visit, through the use of modern social networking. Case updates such as apprehensions and new developments about these "Video Villains" will be sent out regularly through the internet.

The plan is to update the site with new "villains" and post updates when suspects are caught. It will be an interesting program to follow and see whether it leads to a noticeable increase in the number of suspects caught, or a decrease in crime.

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