CPD investigating suspects caught on video

Published 3:53 pm Wednesday, August 24, 2016


The Clanton Police Department is investigating two burglaries that it believes to be related.

The suspects have been caught on camera breaking into the Jet Pep at 2261 7th Street South and Clearview Grocery at 1601 Kincheon Road. The incidents occurred five days apart, and both times the burglars stole tobacco products and soft drinks. The first incident was on Aug. 17 and the other was on Aug. 22. Both were in the early morning hours, between 2 and 4 a.m.

“Our business burglaries … in the past year or two our percentage of those has went way down,” said Officer David Clackley. “For us to all of a sudden have two that close together, [doing a] very similar thing … and the location of the stores… it makes us believe that the two are related and possibly even the same offender or group of offenders.”

Clackley believes that the suspects are not from the area. He said that people from Chilton County usually are more careful not to be on camera. This is partially because the CPD has begun uploading security footage to Facebook.

Having one’s face on a video for thousands to view is a powerful deterrent for would-be criminals. The videos posted on the CPD’s Facebook page typically garner around 10,000 views – a great reason to avoid being the star of such a video.

Clackley said that social media has been a great, cost-effective tool for the department. It is free to make and maintain a Facebook page, and the help from the community is invaluable to the CPD, especially in cases like these burglaries in which the crime happens in just a couple minutes.

“If you’re a minute sooner or a minute later, you’re gonna miss it,” said Clackley. “The chances of a civilian driving by and seeing something is better than the chances of us because there’s three or four officers out at night versus four or five hundred civilians.”

Clackley said that if citizens are aware that burglaries are taking place because they’ve seen these videos, it might lead to a quicker arrest and restitution for the victims due to tips from the community.

“You can’t argue with the power of social media. The more people you get involved, the better outcome you get,” said Clackley.

To view these cases and stay up to date on the happenings of the Clanton Police Department, go to facebook.com/ClantonPD. There you can message in tips and join the conversation surrounding these events.