The owner of an Edmond security company is ready to go global with his crime-solving social network, Crimeseen.com.
Two years ago, Paul Conrady had trouble getting sponsors for the site, which allows users to post surveillance footage of crimes, asking the community to help identify suspects. Now, people in markets from Houston to Finland have asked him to give them a call.
“I think I'm sitting on a little powder keg that's getting ready to go crazy,” said Conrady, who owns Edmond Security Inc.
The website emerged in 2010 as a free electronic “Wanted” poster — when a crime happens, a home or business owner can post a video and Crimeseen automatically emails a link to all users within a certain radius of the crime.
Anyone who recognizes the criminal can contribute information, often giving strapped-for-time police departments the clues they need to make an arrest, Conrady said.
A pool of users
Conrady said that initially large security companies in Las Vegas and San Diego showed interest in sponsoring Crimeseen in their areas. But then they pulled back, saying they would wait for the website to build a pool of users.
Conrady was undeterred.
“I'm going to prove what this can do for Edmond Security,” he said.
Since then, with no advertising except through word-of-mouth, his business has grown by 56 percent, he said.
Neighbors use the website to help each other catch criminals, Conrady said. Crimeseen made one man aware that neighborhood thieves were cutting copper out of air conditioning units. Later, when the man heard a hissing sound coming from a lone parked car, he identified it as the sound of coolant escaping an air conditioner and called the police.
Both people in the car were arrested for attempted grand larceny, according to an Oklahoma City Police Department report posted to the website.
Businesses also can share crime reports with each other. For example, local cellphone retailers have a Crimeseen group, Conrady said.
He spoke recently during a webinar put on by Acadian Monitoring Services in Lafayette, La. The webinar yielded potential sponsors in seven markets, including Houston and Dallas, he said.