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Home surveillance systems changing landscape for investigations

Personal cameras are helping homeowners feel more secure in their homes in addition to helping the criminal justice system.

TOLEDO, Ohio — More and more homeowners are buying home surveillance systems, like Ring Doorbell or Nest. These valuable tools are helping law enforcement solve criminal investigations more than ever. 

Robert Scott, a homeowner in Lucas County, said that he bought a Ring Doorbell System three months ago.

"We had someone break into my car and we didn't have any alarms or cameras. We had a house alarm, but nothing for the car; nothing for the yard," Scott said. 

He hasn't had any incidents since.

"If that was to happen again, I would at least have a picture or some idea of the person or persons that did it," he said.

Personal cameras are helping homeowners feel more secure in their homes and in addition to helping the criminal justice system. 

"It's one of the first things we look for when we get on scene now," Lucas Co. detective Capt. Matt Luettke said.

Luettke said that personal cameras are helping solve all kinds of crimes from murder-suicide to car burglaries.

"There would've been no suspects, but having video was able to give us a description of a car or license plate or even a person. We were able to put out to the public and we could release the still footage or video itself," he said. 

Video evidence is hard to refute which is what makes it so valuable. 

"Prosecutors expect it. The public expects it a lot of time when we have these videos because so much our life is caught on video today," Luettke said. 

"That's the security of the peace of mind that you get by having the Ring," Scott said. 

The Toledo Police Department, as well as Sylvania Township Police, are using the free Neighbors app by Ring as another tool in reducing crime. Detectives can request video through Ring, but owners are not required to provide it. 

Text ‘toledooh’ to 555-888 or click here from your smartphone to download the Ring app for free on iOS and Android. 

You can download  the Neighbors app on iOS and Android here or text ‘StaySafe’ to 555888.

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