Making a good witness, what you should look for - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Making a good witness, what you should look for

Midland Police use witness descriptions to catch most of their criminals, especially robbers (Source: KWES) Midland Police use witness descriptions to catch most of their criminals, especially robbers (Source: KWES)

We’ve seen them a lot lately here in the Basin, those grainy surveillance photos of bank robbery suspects. But do they help catch the criminal? Many times police said they had to rely on witness descriptions to bring down that robber.

Officer John Kerrigan of the Crime Prevention Unit for the Midland Police Department, said “The surveillance footage that they use is usually pretty good but human eye sees a lot better.”

When asked for information about a suspect, witnesses are usually urged to call Midland Police or Midland Crime stoppers. Knowing exactly what to look for is something Kerrigan believed is essential to solving any crime.

“What kind of clothing were they wearing? Were there any distinctive markings maybe on the clothing?  Facial hair? Glasses,” said Kerrigan.

In the case of robberies which the Tall City has seen a lot of in the past year, Kerrigan said to be especially vigilant.

“A lot of times there not going to be walking out slow. They may be running out fast and when they run out fast they are going to hit the window which are usually glass with their palms and they may leave good palm or finger prints.”

Surveillance footage might not tell the whole story.

“If you’re looking at the surveillance camera and see maybe a maroon shirt, in person you may have seen it as a red shirt, maybe just because of distortion in the camera it may actually have been a red shirt and not maroon,” said Kerrigan.

Kerrigan added in a situation always to remain calm and trust what you saw.

“I think we’re pretty lucky here in Midland that people are more than willing to help us out,” said Kerrigan.

Kerrigan said witnessed are never pushed by police to offer a description.

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