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MCSO Eye Watch: Solving crimes with video surveillance cameras

Posted at 8:08 PM, Dec 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-07 23:29:00-05

From high profile to run of the mill, the Martin County Sheriff's Office said the video you provide can serve as a pivotal break in cases ranging from missing children to homicides.

Not every case in Martin County is the Tricia Todd case, a gruesome murder of a mother in Hobe Sound, but it's partly what inspired Sheriff William Snyder to launch a citizen powered surveillance network, called Eye Watch. 

"On that April 27 morning when Steven Williams was leaving the scene of his crime, " said Martin County Sheriff William Snyder. "It was dark and there were as far as we know no witnesses....what he didn't know is that there was a video camera on a business in the area that picked him up."

Detectives said that sliver of video from a business on U.S. 1 in Hobe Sound helped crack the case after nearly 500 hours of logging it. 

"The piece of video in the Tricia Todd case was indispensable," said Sheriff Snyder. "Without that, we very well could have never recovered her body, or found justice in that case. It was the lead that made the case."

"I feel proud. Yeah I feel proud," said Carlos Vizcarrondo, the Vice President of Stoney Automotive in Hobe Sound."They later told me they have something after the case was solved."

Now, Sheriff Snyder wants a computer mapping system to show a comprehensive network to tap into to fight everyday crime. Everything from night crawlers to residential crimes. He called it a "citizen posse." Homeowners and business voluntarily register their cameras with the sheriff's office. 

"I know people are afraid of big brother and 1984 and George Orwell," he said. "And all that goes into the that surveillance state. This is not that."

He said it's citizens standing should to should with the sheriff's office. 

"Every single person has to help," said Vizcarrondo. "You never know who the next victim is. It could be your family or friends."

The sheriff also said people can opt in and out of the program as they please. He also wants to stress their names are kept confidential and not open to public record.