Midland Police Turning to the World Wide Web to Help Fight Crime

By Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

Crime is up in the Basin. 

To catch the crooks, Midland Police are turning to a new weapon, the World Wide Web.

"They're gone 10-15 minutes at the most," Dealer Jed Heard, with Berg Motors, said.

Just a few minutes, that's all it takes for Midland crooks to get away with thousands of dollars in rims, bumpers, spoilers, and tires. Police say car dealership theft is on the rise in the Basin.

"We've been in business 52 years coming up on 53 and we've never had to put in security cameras before," Heard said.

But now, the Midland Police Department is trying something new. They're taking the footage from the cameras and posting it on YouTube in hopes of catching the crooks.

"Often times we see the surveillance video and we don't know who the individual is, but when you have a population of 100,000 people, we can put that video out for more eyes and ears then we can get information and hopefully solve the crime," Lt. Tony Dickie with the Midland Police Department, said.

Police say YouTube will give them a 24 hour system of communication with Midlanders.

"All crimes we have will not be placed on YouTube, but if we have high profile crimes or crimes we believe the public can give us information regarding the suspect identity, we will place those on YouTube," Lt. Dickie said.

Berg Motors in Midland has been hit the hardest. In just the past few months, they've had nine burglaries totaling $90,000 of damage.

"We've got a lot of people moving into the area and a lot of them aren't so nice," Heard said. "And I think that's probably the main reason we have that."

Midland Police are hoping to enlist the younger generation in nabbing these crooks.

"I think it's critical that we reach the younger generation and people that are on the computer on a daily basis," Lt. Dickie, said.

If you do recognize a face or event, the Midland CrimeStoppers information is posted right next to the video you can call and remain anonymous.

"The public really is our eyes and ears, we can't do this alone," Lt. Dickie said.