Security camera helps police nab burglary ring

Residents who have video surveillance asked for help

October 14, 2011 at 9:05 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Surveillance equipment can be a powerful tool in law enforcement’s fight against crime.

In December 2009, a resident’s security camera helped track down a theft ring that was linked to crimes in both St. Charles and Jefferson parishes. St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said the camera caught a vehicle owned by Errol Falcon Jr., of Luling, leaving the scene of a burglary.

Champagne said authorities focused on Falcon after seeing the video and began investigating him.

After obtaining a search warrant, deputies and detectives descended upon Falcon’s home and say they discovered more than $100,000 in stolen goods inside the residence.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, about a dozen homes and some vehicles had been targets of burglaries that year. Authorities say the perpetrators cased out the homes ahead of time and generally attempted to enter the homes through a rear door or window.

Falcon pleaded guilty to nine counts of possession of stolen goods in July and received a 20-year sentence. Joseph Austin, who authorities believe was an accomplice of Falcon, was found guilty in September to four counts of simple burglary. He was sentenced to 24 years in prison.

The above case is just one of the many instances where security footage has helped detectives crack a case. In fact, the cameras are so useful that Champagne sent out an email asking members of the public to let authorities know if they have video surveillance so that their names can be added to a database. When a crime occurs near a person listed in the database, Champagne is hopeful that their video device can help solve the crime.

“Detectives with the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office have been able to solve many crimes with the assistance and cooperation of citizens who have video surveillance cameras installed in their homes and businesses,” he said. “We would like to take this one step further to help our crime solving capabilities. We would like to maintain a confidential database of citizens who have security cameras which provide views of the streets in and around your home or business.”

Those residents with such devices are asked to call (985) 783-6237 or email with their name, address and telephone number.

“We will keep this database confidential and only contact you in the event that we might need your assistance if a crime such as a theft or burglary is committed in your area,” Champagne said. “Views of the street might enable us to develop suspects who were in the area.”

Champagne said that the Sheriff’s Office only needs information from those that own cameras that provide a street view.

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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