Is Surveillance Video Keeping the Streets Safe?

Is Surveillance Video Keeping the Streets Safe?

Daytona Everett

A New Year’s day hit and run leaves one man struggling for his life. With little evidence, surveillance video could have been key in the investigation but police are hitting a “dead end” when it comes to working cameras.

“They just have various monitors around them where they can look at various intersections throughout the city that have those cameras,” Palm Springs Police Chief Bryan Reyes said.

Unfortunately, the intersection outside of Toucans nightclub doesn’t have cameras. That’s the intersection where Hector Beleche was mowed over by not one, but two hit and run drivers on January 1st, according to Reyes.

He said the other city cameras didn’t help either.

“When you see cameras it’s not like oh, there’s a camera there, lets go research the history of it,” Reyes said. “A lot of it is just for monitoring purposes.”

Reyes said not only were there no city street cameras to show the accident but the camera at Toucans where everything happened wasn’t working.”

“One camera was inoperable,” Reyes said.

NBC Palm Springs asked if it was the camera facing the street corner to which Reyes replied, “I believe so.”

Less than a year ago, Zeldas, another nightclub in Palm Springs was permanently shut down for not having the proper video security system.

“Bars, they are required to have working camera systems all the time,” Reyes said.

On January 1st, Toucans was at fault but Reyes said the nightclub fixed the problem quick enough to prevent it from being shut down.

Toucans is still in business but Jeffrey Billinger, Hector’s partner, is searching for clues. Following the accident, he said surrounding businesses admitted they did have working security cameras but by the time police got there, it was too late.

“Our officers did go out there and that is quite possible that by the time we got to Coles [a nearby business], it was overwritten,” Reyes said. “That’s not uncommon.”

“After they got there everything was gone,” Billinger said.

Police confirmed one of the suspect vehicles is a 2016-2019 Mazda Miata. You are urged to contact local police if you have anu information.

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