HOUSTON (FOX 26) — People who live in the City of Houston can now get real-time crime information in their neighborhoods from police.
The Houston Police Department has partnered with Ring™ Video Doorbell and joined the Neighbors app.
On Goodridge Drive in southeast Houston, residents used the Neighbors app to help police catch a package thief after he targeted several homes. Now, HPD has joined the app directly.
"Pretty brazen with what he was doing," said Royce Walsh, one of the victims on Goodridge Drive. "He had no regard to anybody’s cameras, didn’t care about it."
In early December 2018, Royce’s Ring camera captured a man cupping his hand over the doorbell camera before snatching up the package of drones that Royce had bought for his sons for Christmas.
"I was angry," said Royce. "I was mad." He shared the surveillance video to his Neighbors app. As it turns out, others recognized the suspect.
"Someone actually witnessed this person in November," said Royce. He quickly found out he was not the only victim. Neighbors were able to share all their collective data with police to help catch the crook.
"Seeing his face and the vehicles — the vehicles is what led to the house," said Royce. "He was picked up on Christmas Eve I believe."
Houston police announced on Monday that the department is joining the Neighbors app for a more efficient crime-fighting and information-sharing experience between neighbors and police.
"Houston police will share relevant and important crime information with residents in real time," said HPD Commander Glenn Yorek.
"We strongly believe that when communities and law enforcement come together and work together, you can not only reduce crime, but you can build much safer better places to live," said Eric Kuhn, general manager of the Neighbors app.
The app allows Ring doorbell surveillance camera users to easily share their data with neighbors and police, but you don’t have to be a Ring user to download or benefit from the app.
"You can set your proximity settings for how far out you want to get alerts from other people, other neighborhoods," said Royce. "Whether it’s something suspicious, intruders, theft, anything like that, everybody’s able to be alerted pretty quickly about what’s going on."
At the news conference on Monday, Houston police encouraged everyone to download the Neighbors app. You can do so by texting "HPD" to 555888. For every twenty people who sign up through HPD, Ring officials said they will donate one ring doorbell camera to a community.