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Video doorbells provide security, can aid police

Posted at 9:16 PM, May 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-20 23:34:05-04


Footage from a doorbell camera probably saved a young girl’s life over the weekend.

Ft. Worth police arrested 51-year old Michael Webb Saturday, a few hours after he reportedly kidnapped and 8-year old girl from her neighborhood.

Webb’s car was identified with video from a neighbor’s video doorbell, and it was spotted a few hours later at a nearby motel where police found Webb and the girl.  Because of incidents like that, experts say doorbell cameras are becoming an essential part of home security.

Stores like Best Buy offer several varieties of video doorbells.  So how do you know which one is right for you?  The simple answer is check the specs.

According to Best Buy’s Smart Home Experts, there are a few major features to look for in a video doorbell; resolution, two-way audio, night vision, and motion sensitivity with LED lights.  There’s also the question of wired versus wireless.

“If you don’t have internet and you want to have a self-monitored system with a DVR, you’d go with a wired system,” said Nick Ciefuentes, Smart Home Expert at the Corpus Christi Best Buy.  “If you have really great internet and want to monitor everything from your phone, Ring and Arlo are two really great brands that support that.”

As far as brands go, Ring and Nest specialize in video doorbells; Arlo is another popular brand.  But no matter which brand you choose, CCPD recommends to get a subscription to save your recordings.

“You have to make sure you do the research on the product that you buy so you ensure it is recording,” said Sr. Officer Travis Pace, CCPD Public Information Officer.

People who put use video security are often shocked at what’s recorded.

“When you put a camera on your house you tend to see a lot of things you thought you would have seen before,” said Ciefuentes.

While doorbell camera footage proved valuable to Ft. Worth Police, CCPD says any video surveillance helps them investigate crimes.

“It’ll give us indicators of the suspect, suspect vehicle, the actions, the seriousness of the offense,” said Pace.

Video doorbells run between $100-$250; a small price to pay for home security.

“Nowadays having home security is a necessity,” said Ciefuentes.  “A lot of people like to feel safe and comfortable at home, and this is the equipment that makes them feel that way.”

Police also say if your doorbell camera records a crime, turn it over to authorities, and don’t post it to social media.