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Electronic Billboards Turn into Digital Wanted Posters

Orwell, eat your heart out: between ads for hamburgers and liposuction, several giant digital billboards on the street flashed an image of Oscar Finch's face taken by a surveillance camera. However, the young man wasn't selling anything: he was running from police. And, as it turns out, he was captured less than a day later, mainly due to the ability of the billboards to act like the wanted posters of the days of yore. "We had been looking for this individual for 10 days and turned it around in 24 hours," said Mobile police spokeswoman Nancy Johnson. "So we're thinking it's going to be highly effective. I think it's a great asset for us."

Twelve billboards showed a grainy mugshot of Finch taken during the Nov. 20 heist. The image, which was mixed in with commercial ads, included his name, his alleged offense and a phone number to contact police. Finch, scared after seeing news coverage of his face on the billboards, turned himself in on Dec. 1, just a day after his photo was posted. With digital billboards, police can now display a suspect's face to thousands of people, sometimes almost immediately after a crime is reported.

News source: SiliconValley.com

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