The Broward Sheriff’s Office is looking for a suspect who they say tried to snatch a woman’s purse and then ended up dragging her for 50 feet at a supermarket in Pompano Beach, Florida. No arrest has been made yet.
Luckily, ATM video surveillance caught the attacker’s image while he cased the victim as she made a transaction.
There are two things to be said about the surveillance video. First, I still do not understand why criminals in the modern era continue to commit crimes in places that are known to have surveillance videos. ATM’s, banks, convenience stores and the like are all heavily watched by video camera.
On the same token, many of these cameras exist strictly to scare off would-be offenders. In reality, a lot of them are broken down and if they even can record an image, that image is so grainy and distorted that it is of no value whatsoever anyway.
The video from this case is in the middle. While an image was recorded and while it clearly shows the shape, build, and clothing worn by the attacker, the video is not of sharp enough contrast to clearly show the offender’s face. Maybe some video enhancement by the Sheriff’s Office can fix that. However, this may create legal issues that a criminal defense lawyer may use to the suspect’s advantage later on.
In all likelihood, this offender will never be caught, unless eye witnesses or the victim were able to get a license plate number or a good description of his vehicle. Even so, in order to find him, he would have had to be driving his own car or one registered to someone that knows where he is. Besides, this even assumes that the car was registered in the first place.
If anything, this case should present an opportunity for local business owners and individuals to learn a lesson about maintaining the operability of their cameras.