Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
WASHINGTON — With ongoing reports of cash, credit and debit cards, and handguns stolen from vehicles in the last several months, the Washington Police Department is encouraging residents with private home surveillance equipment to sign up for the city’s community camera program.
“It’s totally voluntary,” Police Chief Jim Lester said. “We do not have access to the cameras themselves, we are just asking people to register that with the city.”
Lester said the list of home cameras gave the department a useful way to check incidents in low-visibility areas.
“When we have a rash of thefts and things like that, we’ll go through that list, and say, ‘OK, we have maybe three cameras in that area, let’s ask folks to check back and see if they have any recordings of people in the area that may be suspicious,’” he said. “They can share that with us and we can use it as a tool as part of our investigation.”
As car burglary cases continue, Lester said residents should keep habits like taking valuables inside with them and locking their car and garage doors.
“It’s frustrating for the officers, I know it’s frustrating for the citizens as well,” he said. “We encourage people to call in if they see something suspicious, like someone walking down the street checking car doors at midnight, 2 a.m., call us and report it. Those types of things help us get in the area to provide extra patrols and things like that.”