SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Pascagoula Police said bank robbery suspect Robert Atrim, 45, who was captured in Texas on Monday is also suspected in a bank robbery in the Fort Worth area. Atrim was captured in Texas just days after Pascagoula police released bank surveillance photos to the news media and on social media. Law enforcers said clear surveillance pictures, like the ones in this case, make their jobs a bit easier.
"With businesses, they focus on their own assets and that's certainly understandable," said Lt. Christopher DeBack of the Biloxi Police Department. "We also talk to them about wider angles, all that kind of stuff to aid in our locating and apprehending the suspect and identifying the suspect."
D'Iberville Police Department Deputy Chief Clay Jones said," Five years ago, you were buying a 16 megapixel camera, that camera would have been a high end camera. Today, that camera is a couple of hundred dollars. You can get the same thing for a lot cheaper. So I think that's what we're seeing now with people putting in home security systems. Fifteen years ago it was unheard of."
Police now have another advantage in capturing suspects that they didn't have 15 years ago - social media.
"Tips come in from everywhere, of course, but the more we can get out there, the broader our span is, the more tips we're going to get," said Lt. DeBack. "By posting it on social media, whether it's the media doing it or people liking and sharing it to their Facebook page, it helps us a lot because it helps us reach a lot broader community."
"We get not just quicker, but we get more accurate responses," said Deputy Chief Jones. "People also provide pictures back to us. If we post a picture of a suspect that we're looking for, many times, they'll post a picture of a suspect they think it is. We can compare the two right there."
Some police departments have their own social media pages while others send releases to the news media, which will then post the information to social media.