Facial recognition tech helps Blue Ash police track down accused purse thief

BLUE ASH, OH (FOX19) - Facial recognition technology recently helped the Blue Ash Police Department track down an alleged purse thief. Police said it's the first time the department has been able to successfully use the technology to identify a suspect and make an arrest.

"This is the first case in Blue Ash that I'm aware of facial recognition hit off of a video. We've been able to match people up obviously by video but never have we submitted one down to the identity unit," said Lt. Rob Gerhardt.

The technology belongs to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and Blue Ash requested their assistance after obtaining video of a purse snatching and video from several of the locations the alleged thief used stolen credit cards.

Police arrested Kudeidra Smith this week and she has been charged with felony theft, felony receiving stolen property and three counts of felony misuse of credit cards.

Smith is believed to have stolen an elderly victim's purse back in March and is said to have been caught on video committing the theft and using the stolen credit cards at several retail locations on the same day.

Smith is said to have racked up $5,480.66 in debt on the victim's credit cards and is also believed to have taken the $40 cash and a cell phone that were in her purse. The Cincinnati native allegedly stopped at five different stores and made a total of nine transactions using the victim's credit cards.

"Technology worked out for us on this side but always, more importantly, it's the eyes and ears of the people out in the community," said Gerhardt.

Smith will be back in court on June 4.

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