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Facial Recognition Software Helps Detectives Nab 2 Suspected Robbers

LANCASTER (CBS) — Two people suspected in several recent armed robberies, which netted thousands of dollars, have been arrested thanks in part to facial recognition software.

The program, which is relatively new, uses technology to compare facial photos to booking photos already in the database, said Sgt. Randy Harris of the Lancaster Sheriff's Station said.

The suspects were arrested Thursday, a day after a postal supply and private mailbox business on East Avenue J were robbed, authorities said.

The pair is also suspected of targeting a check-cashing business on Jan. 17, on West Avenue L, and a fast-food restaurant the following day, according to Harris.

"The first major lead came when a clear image of the (male) suspect's face was captured on a surveillance camera during the robbery of (the) check-cashing business," Harris said.

Detectives entered the photo into the computer system using the software. Within minutes, the program provided a possible match for the gunman and investigators began looking for him.

"The male suspect who was arrested for the robberies is the same suspect the facial recognition program indicated as a possible match," Harris said.

Detectives subsequently searched the woman's apartment in Lancaster, and found a handgun believed used in the crime, Harris said.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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