FOX8 part of wide-reaching effort to find Guilford County killers

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Detectives with the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department are still working every angle of a recent murder case in which a man was robbed and killed while doing yard work, even coming to the FOX8 studios to analyze video that may help them solve the crime.

Detectives don’t want us to share pictures of the car they wanted to get a closer look at until they’re sure it’s tied to the death of Vann Yates.

Yates, 57, was killed Jan. 20 at his home near High Point on Fairfield Road.

Earlier this week, the sheriff’s department released a sketch of the two men they’re searching for. They also went door-to-door alerting neighbors to the crime and conducted a checkpoint near the crime in an effort to find anyone with information about the two men they’re looking for.

Investigators also went to nearby businesses in search of surveillance video that could help them identify how the men left the scene of the crime.

That led detectives to the FOX8 studios where they had hoped we could zoom in on the license plate of a suspicious car.

Unfortunately, the poor video quality did not allow our equipment to provide a clear look at the tag.

“I think it’s a popular belief from watching ‘CSI’ that it's easy to do that,” said Kenny Meade, a design director at FOX8. “Unless the resolution of the camera is really good to begin with you’re not going to be able to do that.”

“There's not a lot of what they call pixels,” said Meade. “The screen is made up of these individual electronic visual elements called pixels and if you can't really see the shape of things, they're blurry anyway, it's going to be hard to get something really detailed, especially when it's really far away like that.”

Detectives are still working the case from several different angles. They’ve received 30 tips from the public and through Crimestoppers. You can give information anonymously by calling (336) 373-1000.

“Even if they might not think it means anything lots of times it may very well and it may be the thing we need to close the case,” said Col. Randy Powers, a deputy chief with the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department.

Even though the two men are still armed and on the loose, the sheriff’s department is hoping all the attention it’s giving the case will help prevent a similar crime in the area.

“For people to be afraid to leave their homes, no,” said Powers. “They just need to take normal everyday standard precautions.”

That includes locking your doors at night and walking to your car with you keys in your hands so you can hit the panic button or use your keys as a weapon if someone attacks you.

“[People] just need to be very much aware of their surroundings at this time,” said Powers. “We're hoping that because we are out being straightforward and telling people what we're doing and canvassing [the suspects] are not going to try and commit a crime during this period of time.”