Doorbell cams used as a type of neighborhood watch - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Doorbell cams used as a type of neighborhood watch

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PACIFIC BEACH (NEWS 8) – New doorbell cameras help alert homeowners about who is at their front door, but they are also proving to be helpful for some neighborhood watch groups by catching a lot of creepy and suspicious behavior.

Stealing packages, taking patio furniture, peaking into windows – all caught on cameras as high-tech security video doorbells capture alleged criminals in San Diego County.

Bob Rohrer installed on at his home in Pacific Beach. “I put it in because my mother is 102-years-old and she does not like people banging on her door.”

Bob quickly realized another benefit. His doorbell is made by a company called Ring. It comes with an app that connects him to other Ring owners in the area – creating a high-tech neighborhood watch program.

The system allows neighbors to share videos so they can be on the lookout for bad guys.

In a video posted to Bob’s community last month, when no one answers the door at a home, the suspect decides to steal the video doorbell – while the homeowner was watching through the camera.

The video suddenly when the suspect presumably steals the doorbell.

San Diego Police Officer Larry Hesselgesser said his department supports video doorbells and they have even used the video in court to help convict the bad guys.

“It’s very hard to dispute seeing you on video committing a theft,” he said.

Officer Hesselgesser said if you catch something strange on video, pass it along to law enforcement.

For detectives, it helps identify suspects. For homeowners it’s a relatively inexpensive way to protect property.

“The front door area is one of the areas that the bad guys are going to be casing or looking in the windows or acting as if trying to see if you are home,” said Officer Hesselgesser.

The Ring doorbell video allows homeowners to notify them and start recording when it sense motion. Even if the person does not ring the doorbell.

While the video doorbell can catch the bad guys, it can also help save lives. In one instance, the Ring notified a homeowner his house was on fire.

In other instances, the Ring video doorbell can capture the most harmless moments when animals wonder up to the front of a home.

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