PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia police are looking for some “video villains,” and they want the public’s help.
It is a top ten list of criminals, but it’s nothing like the police department has ever done before.
The whole idea is to give people the chance to solve crimes from their cell phones and laptops.
Sipping lattes now at your favorite coffee house could lead to solving crimes.
The department is reaching out through its website, phillypolice.com, as well using the social media sharing sites Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Youtube.
Police lieutenant Ray Evers says the initial top ten list includes shotgun and other gunpoint robbers, and men charged with sexual assault.
“These are really, really good facial shots of these individuals,” says Evers, “and our goal is to get these suspects identified, arrested, and get them off the street.”
And police are urging the public to get involved by looking at the stills and video.
“Even if it is a minor crime, but a great picture we want to get that out there, because we’ve got to get that person arrested right away,” Lt. Ray Evers said.
Video villains made its debut on Friday.
It was posted on the department’s Facebook page to make it easier for people to follow.
“I’m always on Facebook and I’m sure everyone else is so I definitely will check that out,” said Sipha Say of South Philadelphia.
“If it was something I could ‘like’ on Facebook and then it would show up on my newsfeed, I might keep track of it,” said Brian Bonner of South Philadelphia.
Through using social media like YouTube and Twitter, police are hoping to catch criminals in way they haven’t before, and ‘video villains’ is just the latest example of that.
“Someone watching theses videos is going to know that person. Our main objective with the top ten video villains is to get them identified, get them arrested and get them off the street,” Evers said.
The website has a section where people can submit a tip to identify one of the suspects.
If you have information, call police at 215-686-TIPS or 911.
Reported by Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio; Todd Quinones, CBS 3