Police, public share site for crime tips

Police around the state have been using http://canyouid.me/ to post and share pictures of suspects, witnesses or people they want to talk to regarding potential crimes.

The difference with this service, though, is the public can check it out too.

The site’s been around since August 2010. It started in Lake Forest Park and since has spread across Washington, though posts primarily come from Western Washington.

Only police can post. Local involvement includes Everett, Lynnwood and Marysville.

Earlier this week, I talked to the site’s creator, Lake Forest Park police detective Tony Matthews. He credits the technical development to a former city IT staffer, Terry James, who now works for the city of Shelton.

Before the site, people had to visit individual police department website to see any surveillance stills from crime scenes, he said. Now, it’s all in one place and open to everyone.

Inactive cases can be included, because a fresh tip could generate new leads, he said.

In October, the site reported 1,286 unique visitors and 12,839 page views, Matthews said. The average viewer spent 2 minutes, 15 seconds on the site and visited 8 to 9 pages.

The site also can include property crimes and lower-level crimes that don’t always make news reports, such as burglaries and credit card thefts.

We haven’t heard of any high-profile arrests in Snohomish County coming from people visiting the site, but it’s a neat idea to be sure.

See the pictures: http://canyouid.me/

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