Austin (KXAN) — Now more than ever, police are using doorbell camera footage from people’s homes as an aid for investigations.
On Tuesday evening, footage from a homeowner’s doorbell camera helped Manor police in a kidnapping investigation. The woman was found safe and in good health Wednesday morning and the case was no longer classified as a kidnapping.
Last month, the Williamson County Sheriff began partnering with residents who have doorbell cameras to identify and catch criminals. This new initiative uses the Neighbors app and allows people to share footage and pictures with police when needed.
Pflugerville police also have a digital neighborhood watch where local residents can register their cameras. To do this, police have to reach out to residents individually if they want to get the footage.
Companies such as Ring, a popular doorbell camera service that was bought by Amazon last year, have recently grown in popularity among homeowners and renters.
Industry experts estimate that by next year, there will be more than 22 million households with security devices — an increase of three million from only five years ago.
In addition to Pflugerville and Williamson counties, Hays County has also been using doorbell camera footage for investigations. According to the Austin Police Department, Austin will soon join in this initiative as well.