BARBERTON, Ohio (WJW) — A local elected official said he was the victim of a crime and he used his knowledge of technology to help solve it.
Barberton City Council President Justin Greer is also the chief technology officer for a company that produces trail cameras, which are commonly used by hunters to track wildlife. Greer said he was alarmed when he began receiving notifications on his phone, with photos of two complete strangers that were being sent from a motion-activated trail camera that he kept in his truck.
“I was like, ‘Well, that’s not me. It’s not my family. That camera is not supposed to even be working right now.’ And whoever had it now ended up turning it on and started capturing photos,” said Greer.
It turns out the camera had been stolen from Greer’s truck, but the thieves did not know that the camera is equipped with technology enabling Greer to track the device to a nearby neighborhood. He then posted photos of the two people caught on camera on his Facebook page, asking for tips on their identity.
“People started reaching out and saying they think they know who this is,” he said.
Once he got an exact address, Greer contacted Barberton police and then paid a surprise visit to the suspects’ house.
“They do it because they can and they get away with it. So when someone shows up at your door saying, ‘Hey, you have my camera and I know it. Here’s proof’ — they were just shocked that they were caught red-handed,” he said.
The two people caught on camera told the council president that someone they knew actually took the camera, and that claim is now being investigated by Barberton detectives.
Greer said his truck had been broken into once before, and he admits it served as an inspiration.
“Most of us have been in a situation like this where we wish we could track down who it was. And I had the ability to do it this time,” Greer said.
He said his camera was damaged by the thieves, and he fully intends to press charges.