Skype helps nab Alabama robbery suspects - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Skype helps nab Alabama robbery suspects

By Ronda Robinson

ONEONTA, AL (WBRC) - A Blount County woman is crediting a free video conferencing program called Skype to scare away two robbery suspects who were later captured thanks to a witness in Kentucky.

Connie Evans was on her computer, video conferencing with her cousin, Donnovan Jefferson, who lives 300 miles away in Lexington, Kentucky. Evans said they were using Skype, a free video conferencing computer program, to talk to each other when she remembered she needed to get her son from school.

"All of a sudden, I looked at the time and realized I need to go get my son who goes to school up the street 5 minutes away," Evans said.

Jefferson stayed connected on Skype while Evans left.  He talked to FOX6 News reporter Ronda Robinson via Skype about what happened next.

"She was probably gone about three to five minutes," Jefferson said. "As soon as she was gone there was a knock at her door."

Jefferson said he heard a loud noise as someone used an ax to break-in to Evans' house. Moments later, he saw via Skype a man and a woman enter his cousin's home, tossing stuff around.  Jefferson immediately called the police and then called Connie.

"It just terrorized me," Jefferson said. "I was worried that if she came back home she could be hurt or killed."

"He said, 'I don't recognize them' and he said 'I think you're being robbed,'" Evans said.

Jefferson said he watched as the couple ran through the house, grabbing whatever they could.

"I did a snapshot of the girl and happened to get her as she shut the laptop down," Jefferson said.

He said they could hear him talking with police on the phone, but said they could not figure out where his voice was coming from.

"I guess that startled the criminals and they ended up leaving the house," Jefferson said. "She left the laptop and most of the belongings on the back porch."

The Blount County Sheriff's Department posted the Skype picture and, within two days, captured both suspects.  Investigators did not immediately release the names nor the pictures of the suspects. They said the pictures were being used as evidence in the cases.

"I am just happy that no one was hurt," Evans said.

Evans says the incident left her with a new love for computers.

"I wasn't really a fan of the computer," Evans said. "The computer can do a lot of good things."

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