Watch CBS News

Citizen Surveillance Camera Network Helps San Ramon Police Identify Criminals

SAN RAMON (KPIX 5) -- One Bay Area city is creating a network of citizen surveillance cameras, which has proven to be highly effective.

A burglary suspect in San Ramon has given police a very clear close-up of his face, thanks to a new surveillance camera network.   Daniel Anthony Martinez, 31, now has a warrant out for his arrest.

And just last week, police say a man was shot in his car. Officers are now identifying a suspect: 21-year-old Trevor Berryman. The victim survived.

Although the suspect himself was not caught on camera, police say some evidence was caught on one of the surveillance cameras in the network and that evidence is helping investigators establish a timeline.

Corporal Becky Chestnut with the San Ramon Police Department says the camera network, called the Citizen View Registry, allows regular folks who already have surveillance cameras to sign them up with the police department.

The program has become quite popular lately.

"People really got into it," Chestnut said. "We about doubled our numbers of registered cameras since the holidays and the flare incident."

The flare incident happened in December. Surveillance cameras caught images of people driving around firing flare guns at houses. One broke through a window, another set a carpet on fire. Nobody was hurt, but police later arrested four teenagers, thanks in large part to the camera network.

Police can't see the cameras from the police department.

"We have to reach out to them. To call them," Chestnut said.

When a crime happens, police look at the map, then call the closest camera owners and request their video.

It could save investigators valuable time knocking on doors and police say it could get criminals off the streets a lot more quickly.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.