Investigators sort through thousands of photos, tips - New York News

Investigators sort through thousands of photos, tips

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PHOENIX -

Investigators have received thousands of photos, videos and tips -- now they're using all of those items to piece the puzzle together.

With the right image, law enforcement can use software to identify the suspects or they can show the image to the public to help identify them.

"The stuff we're seeing isn't everything they have obviously," said Silent Witness coordinator Darren Burch.

Much like Silent Witness, law enforcement involved in the Boston Marathon bombings asked the public for help -- soliciting photos and video and even developed a tip line within hours of the crime.

Burch says it's community policing at its best.

"And now you got a million people helping you identify the suspect.  It's community helping protect the community."

With the proliferation of cell phones and other video devices, many believe someone, somewhere, captured an image of the bomber.  Unlike videotape in the 1980s and 1990s, video can now be enhanced.

"And now you can get license plates where you would never get a license plate before," said Burch.  "It's just really good quality and it's on your own personal phones now where everyone has it."

Investigators in the Boston investigation also turned to businesses; surveillance video.  Burch says the right image can give investigators a lot of information.

"When you get a really good frontal picture, you can use a software to help identify based on criminal records and such."

Burch says investigators could be sifting through video and photos from weeks leading up to the bombing.  Meaning everyone who took images from those preparing for the event to those covering the event could have been collecting evidence all along.

"It's truly evidence.  It helps identify the crime, identify the suspect, help convict the suspect, it's a powerful tool for our community."

Burch says the bad guys realize how much video capturing capabilities there are and are dressing for it now, covering from head to toe, which can also lead to tips and calls because they can't be discrete.

 

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