[PHOTO CREDIT: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
[Original Publish Date: 12/28/19]
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CLERMONT, Florida — An Apopka woman was busted for a theft last month using facial-recognition software.
According to a probable cause affidavit, a Clermont Police detective was investigating the Nov. 20 theft of two grills and a shop vacuum valued at more than $1,200 from Ace Hardware, 859 State Road 50, Clermont. Surveillance video captured a black male and a white female stealing the items and putting them in a black Nissan Frontier truck. Police ran the tag on the Frontier, only to find it was registered to a different vehicle.
On Nov. 25, Clermont Police posted a bulletin on social media in an attempt to identify the thieves. The following day a crime analyst from the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office emailed the detective and stated she had possibly identified the female as Heather Renee Reynolds, using facial-recognition software, the affidavit states. The crime analyst stated Reynolds has a Facebook account showing the same tattoo that can be seen in the Ace Hardware surveillance video. The detective enlarged the video and compared it to the tattoo on Reynolds’ Facebook page and determined they matched.
On Nov. 27, a second crime analyst, this time from the Tampa Police Department, emailed the detective and stated they too had matched the photos from the Clermont Police social media post to Heather Reynolds, 31, using a different facial-recognition program. The detective ran Reynolds’ criminal history and found she had a, “substantial criminal history to include theft, burglary, fraud and narcotics,” the detective noted in the affidavit.
Police filed the warrant Dec. 10. Reynolds was arrested in Orange County and transported to the Lake County Jail Thursday. She was released on $2,000 bond.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. In addition, she has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]