CLEVELAND – Investigators and prosecutors are working on a way to gather clues before crimes even happen. That means knowing where to look to find crimes caught on camera.
The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office spent the last eight months working on the Security Camera Mapping Initiative. This program helps law enforcement locate privately-owned residential or commercial security cameras in the county.
“It’s helpful for us because it paints a picture for the jury and judge of what actually happened,” said Eleina Thomas, who works in the crime strategies unit for the prosecutor’s office.
It’s a voluntary program . People who own video security cameras are asked to register by going to prosecutor.cuyahogacounty.us.
“The video is key,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Mike O’Malley.
He and assistant prosecutor John Hirschauer explained security video recently helped Cleveland police arrest three teenagers, who prosecutors say committed several aggravated robberies in the Tremont area in the fall of 2016.
“They could be seen on video robbing people at gun point,” O’Malley told FOX 8.
Tremele Collins, who was 17 at the time, and his two cousins were arrested and convicted.
Tremele Collins received 29-year prison sentence and Lorenzo Collins, 16, is serving 12 years behind bars. Both were tried as adults.
Lorenzo Collins’ younger brother, who is 14, was sentenced to three to six years in the Ohio Department of Youth Services.
O’Malley said creating the security camera initiative helps officers to locate evidence shortly after the crime and get dangerous criminals off the streets.
“We have an epidemic of youth gun violence and we need to stop it,” O’Malley said.