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Usually, when law enforcement agencies are searching for suspects in a robbery, they don’t have a lot to go on. They might have a vague description of the suspect, as well as a location and a description of what was stolen.

But occasionally a Police Department lucks out. Sometimes the suspects manage to commit their crime right in front of some handy security cameras.

That’s what happened a few days ago, when two suspects robbed a man in front of his home on 41st street.

The suspects captured in the photos below had apparently met their victim at an estate sale earlier in the day. According to police, the first suspect arranged to meet the victim for an appraisal later in the day. When the victim showed up, two suspects approached him, hit him on the head with a hammer and robbed him.

It was all captured on a nearby security camera.

I called Lt. Vince Villalvazo, who heads up the department’s robbery division and quizzed him on the photos.

Villalvazo told me that surveillance videos are incredibly useful for investigators, not just to help identify suspects, but to help corroborate witness statements. Overall, cameras help investigators form a better picture of what happened at the scene of a crime, even if they’re really poor quality.

“This highlights the importance of a physical inspection of a crime scene,” Villavazo said. “Just one photo can be very, very useful.”

The press releases I normally get from local law enforcement agencies looking for wanted suspects offer up some pretty dodgy, grainy black-and-white photos of the side of the suspect’s head. This time, however, the photos are pretty clear and are in glorious color.

You’ll notice that one of the photos actually shows the suspect running away with a hammer in his hand:

Anyone with any information about who these two men are can contact the SDPD’s mid city division at (619) 516-3000. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymous, toll-free tip line at (888) 580-TIPS. You could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.

WILL CARLESS

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