Indianapolis-based company aims to predict crime

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Several police departments in central Indiana want nothing more than to catch two men considered to be serial bank robbers. The two men are suspected of hitting banks in Zionsville, Carmel, Avon and possibly more.

Police officers looking into the bank robberies have connected with Nick Ashton, the owner of an Indianapolis-based crime prediction company called Tracometry.

"We can predict when a crime is going to take place on a certain day and time," said Nick Ashton, Tracometry. 

Ashton has a lot of confidence because his company has an excellent track record of predicting repeat criminal behavior. He is in the process of meeting with officials on the state level as well as local law enforcement agencies.

Ashton hopes to convince the agencies to obviously purchase his services.

"Tracometry is an analytic company that specifically does certain things on crime analytics, tracking, calls for service and next event predictability," he explained.

In Phoenix, Arizona, after six bank robberies by a man police dubbed the "Bearded Bandit," the suspect got away with repeat bank robberies wearing fake beards and sunglasses, making it hard for police to get clues from surveillance camera snapshots shown on the local newscasts.

Ashton's company predicted the sixth robbery following the Bearded Bandit's fifth successful getaway. Phoenix robbery detectives did not take Ashton's prediction seriously.

Tracometry pinpointed a two-day time period, the dates and the neighborhood where they believed the Bearded Bandit would strike next. He got away with bank robbery number six because police did not take heed.

Detectives asked Ashton to predict the next bank robbery. Officers set up at the predicted location and caught the Bearded Bandit red-handed as he started for the bank in the exact neighborhood on one of the days Ashton's company predicted.  

Tracometry not only works with local police departments but also the military.

"Our soldiers, for example, from the Indiana National Guard serving oversees are much safer because we predicted where they would see terrorists trying to kill them with makeshift bomb attacks," said Ashton.

In the last six months, the number of incidents involving improvised explosive devices - the top threat in Afghanistan - dropped by 50 percent, according to the Department of Defense. Ashton is convinced since they have been able to predict makeshift bombs from insurgents, Tracometry has helped lower soldier injuries and more.

"We have saved hundreds and hundreds of lives," said Ashton.

Jeff Alexander of Tracometry is one of the lead reps working in the Indianapolis Metro area.

"We have the ability to connect the different law enforcement agencies so they can compare notes, especially in days like today when criminals are crossing jurisdictions to commit their crimes," said Alexander.

Alexander is one of many reps across the country working for Tracometry. They employ many former law enforcement officers and analysts who love tackling the probability of crimes using data and information for predictability.

Now Ashton and Alexander hope the technology that helped soldiers and police departments alike will work again in central Indiana to track down a pair of dangerous armed robbers.

Although the company is just in talks with local law enforcement agencies, both men hope they can become permanent contractors to help not only fight crime locally but predict where it will happen next to put a stop to it.