It didn't take long for police to arrest a woman stealing a surveillance camera that was in fact watching her every suspicious move behind the Oriental Market at the 3400 block of South Texas Avenue.
But it wasn't just traditional police work that nabbed the suspect -- it was YouTube.
"We posted ten videos; solved three cases; but have identified five individuals," said Bryan Police Public Information Officer Kelley McKethan.
That surveillance video was posted to Youtube on October 21st; in a matter of ten days and more than 1,000 YouTube views later, an anonymous Crimestoppers tip helped identify the suspect. During our interview with McKethan Friday morning Bryan Police were able to arrest Krystal Kay Wells for the crime that she allegedly committed on camera.
While this video only has 231 views, concerned citizens were able to help identify Paul David Mason Jr. as one of two men involved in a convenience store theft. Hundreds of police departments across the country are turning to YouTube, the popular video repository of social media, to communicate with the public and catch criminals. Since time is of the essence, Bryan PD is pushing the envelope and adding the videos to Facebook and Pinterest to help garner more attention to the faces behind the crimes.
"Certain offenses have a statute of limitations of two years so if we don't get them identified and get the case solved and sent over to the court system in two years then it's gone," added McKethan.
While the videos are primarily theft and robbery crimes, police say the exposure is priceless and so far their efforts seem to be paying off.
"The cases that we are posting that we are asking people to look at affect everyone, I mean, everyone out there could be a potential victim of those types of crimes," said McKethan.
You can see the various websites Bryan PD is utilizing to combat crime below this story.