On April 14, 2016 the newly created Community Pro-Tektor Pod Unit was installed at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Falkenburg Road Jail. The pod unit was designed for use within a jail setting as the content would be displayed on many televisions. Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay chose to use the pod unit to show Unsolved Crimes and Wanted Fugitives. The system allows for a brief narrative, picture and video to be seen by the viewer. The content displayed would now be airing on the pod televisions within the jail and be viewed by roughly 1,500 inmates during all meals.
Just 24 hours after the new system went live, an alert Detention Deputy contacted me to advise he knew the identity of an unknown robbery suspect that was being aired on the Crime Stoppers Channel. The deputy was able to identify the 16 year old suspect as he was currently incarcerated in the juvenile pod for unrelated felony charges. The unsolved robbery case occurred on March 1, 2016 in Tampa and the unknown suspects were wanted for meeting with a female victim to purchase a smart-phone that was advertised on the OfferUp site. The suspects were accused of punching the victim in the face and taking her phone. The information was provided to the assigned Tampa Police Detective who began investigating the newly identified suspect. After a thorough investigation, the detective was able to obtain a full confession. On May 17, 2016 an arrest warrant was obtained for Strong Arm Robbery and on June 6, 2016 the suspect was officially charged and is now facing criminal prosecution through the adult court system.
Law enforcement detectives have advised that the pod unit is an innovative tool they can add to their crime solving belt of resources.
For a Crime Stoppers program whose mission is to be an effective crime-solving force in the community, the pod unit brings detention into the network aiding law enforcement in solving crime and catching bad guys. Thank you Community Pro-Tektor for taking the time to create this unit. I look forward to having more success cases in the future.
Master Deputy Kelly B. McLaren
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office