Technology credited for capturing potential child predator - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Technology credited for capturing potential child predator

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He's accused of trying to lure a girl into his van, but now a potential child predator is off the streets, and police say a lot of credit needs to be given to some new technology.

Police say 34-year-old, father of three, Jose Jalpa-Yanes was stalking a neighborhood girl over the span of weeks. They say they're sure it's him because of a network of cameras called ‘Brief Cam.’

It was able to single out the van he was allegedly doing this in.

“This is a tool I use daily,” said Hartford police Sgt. John Michael O’Hare.

The old police station in Hartford has been converted into the city's crime center, where hours of surveillance can be condensed into very specific seconds, boosting efficiency exponentially.

“I can watch in 15 minutes and 9 seconds, I can watch 2 hours of video,” O’Hare said.

Police got the call on Monday morning. All they knew was that a man in a white van pulled up to a 10-year-old girl on Stonington Street asking her to get in.

She says he exposed himself before speeding off.

While the description of the vehicle was vague, a location and a color was all O’Hare needed.

“We have 3,480 objects moving through this path,” O’Hare said.

Since police are looking for a white vehicle, Brief Cam filter out all other colors, and the more they know, the more specific it can get. 

“We just know we're looking for a van, not a car or a motorcycle, we're looking for a van going southbound. 7:06, that's our van. This is our van,” O’Hare explained.

Police enhance the image and get a plate, and again in seconds, the network, that was fully funded through asset forfeiture and grant money, was able to track the van on another camera, posted at Wyllis and Main, allegedly fleeing the scene, driving into oncoming traffic.

“You have pedestrians in the crosswalk, people walking, this individual is trying to flee the scene, this is against a red light,” O’Hare said.

In court, Jalpa-Yanes’ attorney denied the public indecency and risk of injury to a minor allegations, but police say they have the same van on camera, approaching a girl earlier this month, matching previous complaints as well.

“This would not have happened prior to having this technology. Nobody is going to be able to sit there and watch two hours of video in a few minutes and capture what they need in 13 seconds,” O’Hare said.

Police say in the two years it’s been available, they use this daily and it goes far beyond crime too.

It tracks people traffic and bike traffic, helping them decide if areas need a crosswalk or a wider bike path.

As for the suspect, he's being held on $500,000 bond.

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