Video conferencing helps nab Alabama robbery suspects

Wednesday, December 1 2010

A woman in Blount County, Alabama, is crediting video conferencing for scaring away two robbery suspects and later aiding in their capture, reports WLOX News.

Connie Evans was on her computer, video conferencing with her cousin, Donnovan Jefferson, who lives Lexington, Kentucky - 300 miles away. During their conversation, Evans remembered she needed to get her son from school and rushed out the door, leaving the video conferencing technology still running.

Just a few minutes later, Jefferson heard a loud noise. Through the video, he saw a man and woman use an ax to break in to Evans' house. Jefferson called police, and then his cousin.

"It just terrorized me," Jefferson told WLOX via video conference. "I was worried that if she came back home she could be hurt or killed."

The robbers could hear someone talking to police while they grabbed what they coud, but took a while to locate the sound. Just before the woman closed the laptop to steal it, Jefferson took a picture of her face. Realizing their entire spree had been watched, the robbers left, leaving the laptop and other items behind.

Jefferson's snapshot from the incident was posted on the Blount County Sheriff's Department website and within two days, both suspects were captured.

According to Disaster Center, there were 6,259 robberies and 48,837 burglaries in Alabama in 2009.