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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Smile, alleged thieves, you're on YouTube!

FRANKLIN

The novel approach of using YouTube to post video of two suspected thieves using a stolen credit card at a Home Depot has yielded several leads, Franklin police say.

Officer Brian Johnson tells Globe West that the video, posted both on the wildly-popular Internet video-sharing site and the Franklin police website has greatly expanded the department's ability to reach people who might be able to identify the men.

Several people have called with information on the possible identity of the two burly men, who were caught by a surveillance camera at a Bellingham home improvement store allegedly using a credit card stolen from a car in Franklin, Johnson said.

Video is more effective for identifying people than the still photos that are more commonly used by police, Johnson said.

"One lead specifically said it was the way the guy wore his shirt open and his swagger" that made him identifiable, Johnson said. No arrests have been made yet.

Johnson said the investigation has turned up some still surveillance photos from another crime at a different store, which have also been posted on YouTube.

-- Alison O'Leary Murray

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