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To catch a thief, homeowners turn to YouTube

Homeowners are rigging their homes with cameras and posting footage of robberies on YouTube. Even police departments are turning to social media to help nab criminals.

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A black SUV pulls up. A man gets out, knocks on the door, then gets back in the car and pulls away. A few minutes later, four men crowd onto the porch, kick the door in, and ransack the home.

Homeowners Dan and Alyssa Kopp transformed themselves from victims to vigilante videographers last Sunday by posting surveillance footage of the brazen burglary of their Grant Park house on YouTube, just as they did after a similar break-in last year.

And, again, they got results: Police put out an arrest warrant for one of the men this week, and are hot on the heels of the other three. Last year, police were able to catch all the burglars with the help of the YouTube video.

From video of a break-in at actress Lindsay Lohan's Los Angeles house to arrests from a homicide-caught-on-tape, YouTube sleuthing is rising in America. In places such as Atlanta, where property crimes are rising and police budgets are tightening, police are even finding new and inexpensive ways to tap directly into home surveillance systems.


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