WBRSO launches citizens' program to help catch burglars

WEST BATON ROUGE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Detectives at the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office have come up with a program they hope will put a stop to a recent rash of break-ins. It involves assistance from homeowners who own surveillance systems.

Realizing the success of home security in solving crimes, WBRSO has come up with a new program called Citizens Active Against Crime. Major Dale Simoneaux explains it's essentially a secure and confidential database that will include the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of homeowners willing to share their surveillance footage with detectives.

"Living in the world we live in today with technology, it can be our best tool to combat crime," Simoneaux said.

If a crime happens in their neighborhood, a detective would contact the homeowner and ask to look at their video footage to see if it picked up any evidence, like a certain vehicle or suspect. "The smallest little thing might be the missing piece to the puzzle that we need for anything from a simple vehicle burglary to a kidnapping, or an abduction, or a pedestrian hit in a subdivision. The possibilities are endless," Simoneaux said.

Simoneaux says homeowners will not be asked to share passwords or their IP addresses with detectives, and police will not have access to their home surveillance system without consent. Detectives hope the program will not only help them catch criminals, but make them think twice before they commit a crime.

"A surveillance system is like a 24-hour eye witness," Simoneaux said.

Homeowners can register on WBRSO's Facebook page or by contacting Mindy in the office at 225-382-5200.

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