Home cameras, social media help nab Austin burglary suspect

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AUSTIN (KXAN) – East Austin burglary victims, with the help of social media and images captured from their own home surveillance cameras, have helped police nab at least one suspected burglar.

Austin police got a call reporting a home burglary June 19 in the 1600 block of Miriam Avenue, but the homeowner had good news: his home surveillance camera captured images of two burglars inside his house. Two Smith & Wesson .357 revolvers were stolen, among other items, according to the arrest warrant.

When an investigator reviewed the footage, he recognized one of the suspects in the house. The man, later identified as Nijoi Tyre Silas, 17, had been issued a warrant in a 2014 burglary that occurred less than a mile from the June 19 incident. In the older case, an image of Silas’ face was recorded in an iPad recovered by police, according to the arrest affidavit.

And while police investigated the burglary, residents of the East Austin neighborhood were doing the same on website Nextdoor.com.

Shortly after investigators connected Silas’ image to the two burglaries, police said they received an email from the victim of the 2014 burglary. That victim said someone else in the neigborhood was asking for help identifying Silas’ image captured by camera during a burglary of her house.

The neighbors had made the discovery while exchanging information on Nextdoor.com, according to the affidavit.

Police said they discovered the identity of the second suspect accompanying Silas in the June 19 burglary by browsing Silas’ Facebook page. Within Silas’ Facebook photos, police said they found pictures of Darius Frizzell Henderson, who’s image matched those captured during the June 19 burglary, according to the affidavit.

Silas was arrested Tuesday in a separate assault incident. He was in possession of a Smith & Wesson revolver, according to the affidavit. Police said they suspect Henderson was the second shooter in the assault incident.

In the June 19 burglary, Silas has been charged with burglary of a habitation, a second-degree felony.

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