ATLANTA -- A security tool disguised as a doorbell is helping police catch suspects in burglaries and other crimes.
It’s a new surveillance tool that actually lets you see what’s going on at the front door and even communicate with the person ringing the bell using a simple smart phone app.
And police now say it’s helping deter – and even solve – crimes.
In Decatur, one home owner caught some trespassers red-handed. And in Atlanta, another resident spotted what looked like an attempted bicycle theft.
In a more recent incident, police are even using video from this stealthy device to solve a burglary and fatal shooting in east Atlanta.
The video came from Ring, the doorbell device that records video when it senses motion or when someone rings the bell.
It instantly alerts the home owner by way of a smart phone app.
“You pull up the app, press talk and say, ‘Hi, how can I help you’ and then they can talk to you - but they can’t see you,” Atlanta resident Ann Worrell said. “One of the wonderful things is they can’t tell if you’re home or not.”
Worrell has a Ring doorbell and an extra camera on the side of her house.
Sandy Springs Police Captain Mike Lindstrom said the Ring system will likely help deter package thefts this holiday season.
“It’s a huge help for us - we can’t be everywhere at once,” Lindstrom said. “It allows our citizens to monitor their homes without actually being home.”
It’s an extra set of eyes and ears that could prove to be valuable evidence in solving crime.
The ring doorbell runs between $200 and $250. Videos are stored online for 6 months.
Drawbacks, aside from the initial setup of the motion sensor, seem to be minimal.