Has releasing photos of looters in Ferguson help make arrest?

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FERGUSON, MO (KTVI) – St. Louis County Police have released another set of photographs showing looters during the Ferguson area unrest. It’s the last set expected to be released, and officers say they’ve got mixed feelings about the results. Out of about 400 images there have been ten arrests, and about ten other identifications. They’d like to have more, but they see it as a start.

“The way we look at it is if we didn’t release these videos we wouldn’t have the ten people in custody from the start of this,” Officer Shawn McGuire of St. Louis County Police said. “We wouldn’t have an additional ten people identified.”

Identifying looters will help police get charges filed for damage, and some hope, answers to other questions. Juanita Morris, owns Juanita Fashions R Boutique. Her West Florissant location burned to the ground the night of the grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson.

“I would pass, and I would get sad.   But after the demolition I put closure to it and opened up a new location.”

She’s among the lucky ones. Her new store opened near New Halls Ferry and I-270 in early March. She lost more than a quarter million dollar worth of merchandise in the fire, and had to start again from scratch.

“It’s been a little rough. Tiring. Rush, rush, rush everything in order to get it open in three months,” she said.

But she still doesn’t know who burned down her store, why, or how the fire was set that burned so quickly. She hopes police will come up with answers through all those faces that have been released in recent weeks.

“I feel that they will catch a lot of them,” she said, “but I feel they won’t get all of them. But I think in the long run, they will pay for what they’ve done.”

Police hope to get more, between the latest photos and other evidence they’re still working with. Fingerprints and blood were found at some looting scenes that are still being tested. More arrests could come from that.

They say the public has been a help in their search for suspects, but they also realize there are limits to how far that help might go. There are people out there who are either too angry or too scared to talk to police.

“That’s always in the back of our mind when you see it on Twitter and Facebook the “snitches get stitches” and everything else,” McGuire said. “That’s always in the back of our mind when we put something out like this. With help from the public. We understand there are people who don’t like the police. That’s not gonna stop us.”

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