Neighbors use surveillance cameras to curb crime in Jackson Bluff area

surveillance camera
Posted at 10:16 PM, May 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-05 12:59:08-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - People in one Tallahassee neighborhood are taking new steps to keep their streets safe.

Jarrett Cruz and his family have lived in the Jackson Bluff area for almost ten years. They've seen a lot of crime in that time.

"We've had car break-ins. The guy across the street had a home invasion while they were in there sleeping," said Cruz. "We had a guy walk in front of our house and shoot a gun up in the air."

This spike in crime has Cruz and many of his neighbors turning to surveillance cameras. Homeowners use the 'extra eyes' to watch the neighborhood and work with Tallahassee police to solve crimes.

"In the past five, six months we've sent them three or four videos," said Cruz.

Investigators use that video to find criminals, sometimes even posting it online.

"It makes a huge difference," said Tallahassee Police Officer Damon Miller. "It allows us to actually put a face with the suspect. Because of social media, we're able to put that out and people are able to identify those suspects."

Another benefit: Low-cost, motion sensor systems are becoming more common and convenient. Many new security systems let you monitor your house wherever you are, right through your cell phone.

"A lot of times people actually call and say, 'Hey, someone's breaking into my house right now,'" said Ofc. Miller.

"It definitely makes me feel better, knowing that I have the camera systems. They've been very helpful," said Cruz.

Cruz says he and his family eventually plan to move out of the Jackson Bluff area, but for now, he says, "I sleep better at night knowing that if someone's out in my yard at two, three in the morning, I'm going to start getting notifications and it's going to wake me up. I can see what's going on without having to wait until I hear someone coming in the house."

Tallahassee police say you should report any crime you experience or know about, even if it seems small.

You can call at (850) 891-4200 or Crime Stoppers of the Big Bend at (850) 574-TIPS.

You can also fill out an online form here.