LED boards aid in US crime solving
Authorities in the US have praised the use of LED boards and the part they played in the capture of a serial rapist on the East Coast of the country.
For more than 12 years Aaron H. Thomas carried out rapes and sexual assaults on 12 different occasions and he was finally arrested at the start of the month, after a joint effort involving the FBI, police and members of the public.
FBI spokesperson, Ronald Hosko, said that it was thanks to the utilisation of LED boards that the suspect was finally apprehended. Tellingly, the advertising campaign went live on the LED boards on a Monday and by the end of the week Mr Thomas was under lock and key.
A number of advertising firms and LED board operators took part in the campaign in order to alert the public to the presence of the wanted man in their area. The digital displays were used across the East Coast of the US, from Rhode Island to Virginia and Delaware.
The LED boards were not only able to provide the public with information about the individual but also displayed a composite mockup of his face and details on who to contact if they had any information.
After suspicions were raised and a suspect suggested, detectives were able to link Mr Thomas to the crimes, thanks to a DNA sample he provided which matched samples taken from the victims after the crimes.
The use of roadside and other outdoor signage types by law enforcement is clearly a powerful asset in the apprehension of wanted criminals, according to Nancy Fletcher, head of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.
Fletcher said that a total of 40 different cases which the FBI advertised via the LED boards, since it first started to use the technology, have been solved.