Thursday night we aired video of an armed robbery at the Superstop convenience store on the corner of 45th Avenue and 9th Street. A Crimestoppers tip led to the arrest of 38-year-old Williams Cherry of Scooba. He was taken into custody just before midnight and tonight remains in jail. Investigators credit new digital surveillance video to his speedy arrest.
Clear surveillance video with clear audio, that's the wave of the future with new hi-tech digital surveillance video. It is this type system which led Meridian Police to arrest a suspect less than 24 hours after Wednesday night's robbery at Superstop. According to company officials, the upgraded equipment which was installed earlier this month is already paying off.
"We're already in our initial rollout phase and we have already solved three similar issues here and all within 24 hours," says Superstop Vice President Wayne Horne.
This is something which investigators project will soon no longer be the exception, but the rule, thanks to the digital systems.
"Because it's a digital format, we don't have to worry about the lines of resolution," says Lt. Dean Harper with the Meridian Police Department.
Not only that, but also Harper says, "The old VHS tapes are so expensive. They record over them and over them. Being a digital format, you're able to store them months and months at a time and we can view it much easier."
In the past, investigators say part of the problem has been that the search process has been so time consuming. However, with the new digital system, employers can isolate particular parts of the picture and the video can automatically rewind to anytime on that video where a change in the isolated area takes place. Unlike in the past, the new system alerts employers by a special alarm if one of the cameras is not working properly."
Given all of this, investigators say the new digital systems are helping to cut down on the amount of time, it takes to solve crimes.
"As it gets better," says Lt. Harper, "the quality of the picture is much more cleaner and we can have it with the media and get it to the public a lot quicker and catch our suspects a lot quicker."
As for whether or not the system is worth the investment, Superstop officials say, "Yes! Definitely! We'd do it again today," says Horne.