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Sunday, February 11, 2007

YouTube - You caught!

YouTube has uses beyond what it was intended for. I think there will be more coming.

What am I talking about?

Did you hear about the criminals caught because the video captured during one of the escapades was posted to YouTube? A policeman from another Massachusetts community identified the video culprits.

Johnson put the footage on the Franklin Police Web site. Then the officer, a user of both YouTube and the social networking site MySpace, decided to put technology to the test.

"It seemed logical to me," said Johnson, who runs the department's computer network in his spare time. "A lot more people visit YouTube than the Franklin Police site."

Johnson also sent an alert to the media. Pretty soon, he said, police departments up and down Interstate 495 reported that the case sounded similar to ones they were investigating. A Cohasset Police officer saw a TV news piece on Franklin's use of YouTube, watched the video and got in touch with Johnson, identifying the suspects as the Terrios.

"They're career criminals," Johnson said of the pair. "This is what they do."

The duo remained at-large until Tuesday, when Middleborough Police responded to a disturbance call at a Holiday Inn and arrested the pair. They had stolen credit cards in their possession, Johnson said. It is unclear when their Franklin case could come to court.

In the end, it was old-fashioned police work that solved the case, not technology. However, Johnson said the YouTube post helped police gather information on the case and connect the dots. Moving forward, the officer said YouTube represented a model for free and easy communication among departments, something that does not always occur.

Gotta love new technology!

Read the full Milford Daily News article here.

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