Homeowners across the Coachella Valley use Ring, a device and service that alerts and captures video whenever there’s activity at your doorstep or wherever the camera is positioned.
Law enforcement is utilizing those videos as extra evidence during investigations.
“It’s the unblinking eye, it’s always watching,” Sergeant Nick Chapman of the Cathedral City Police Special Operations Section, said.
New surveillance technology has transformed the way law enforcement investigates cases because of accessibility, Chapman said.
“Just about any crime we have these days, we’re able to get footage of either the area around it or the approach to it,” he said.
More and more video is coming from Ring. In October, a man was caught rummaging through numerous residences in an Indio neighborhood, several caught on Ring.
“Ring doorbells capture quite a bit and it’s actually very good video quality,” Chapman said. “We do get it from people and use it to identify and go after people for crimes.”
Police pursue investigations of group theft and repeat offenders the most, Chapman said.
“When we have multiple crimes of the same nature that add up to substantial dollar amounts, then it’s a lot easier to prosecute it.”
Mail and small package theft is not the main priority, though, Chapman said.
“They’re not as high on the priority list as say like, gang violence or making sure that our city’s safe in regards to traffic and other things like that.”
In preparation for tax season and the holiday season, Chapman said there are steps homeowners can take to prevent theft.
“If you can avoid having stuff shipped to your house if there’s nobody there, don’t ship it there.”
Also, you can keep your mail secure by getting a P.O. box or a lockable mailbox. CCPD will continue to use Ring as a tool for arrests, Chapman said.
“Technology has been law enforcement’s friend more than its enemy and its been very helpful in identifying these people.”
Indio Police Department did not comment on this story. Therefore, NBC Palm Springs can not confirm if the Indio man in the Ring videos is under investigation.