Two Illinois police officers have created an incentive program for members of the public who help identify persons of interest in retail theft cases, the Beacon News reports.
Police in Oswego, Yorkville, Aurora, Montgomery and St. Charles have already signed up for the service, which offers residents $25 promotional gift cards to a business of their choice for correctly identifying possible theft suspects.
Photos of suspects are posted by police on the site www.idthisperson.com, and the general public is able to look at pictures of people in their areas. The photos are typically taken from store surveillance cameras.
“There’s a lot of tools out there to solve crime, but this is a unique tool that involves law enforcement working with the public,” Oswego police detective Rob Sherwood told the news source. “When you actually have a picture of a person of interest, you make it a lot easier to solve that case.”
Under each image, police ask users whether they know the person’s name, whereabouts or other vital information to help capture the suspect, with the aforementioned reward to those who provide assistance.
According to the theft detection website, retail theft losses have surpassed billions of dollars annually.