(FOX59) — Many of us use our phones to record moments happening around us. But, what about those events and moments happening outside your home? Home security cameras are becoming popular devices and chances are if you don’t own one, your neighbor does. In some cases, the devices are helping area police departments solve crimes and prosecute cases.
“I think they are worth the expense if it brings ease to the homeowner’s mind,” said Fishers Police Chief Ed Gebhart.
Just this year alone, there have been several crimes across Indianapolis captured on home security cameras. In one case the suspect attempted to destroy the security camera while committing the crime.
Taquinda Duffy was inside her Indianapolis home asleep in June when her Ring camera captured a group of four men running up to her husband outside their house with handguns, a rifle and bulletproof vests. In the video, you can even hear her husband yell “don’t shoot!”
What happened seconds late is even more frightening. “He came in; he knew exactly where to go,” Duffy said. It turns out the suspect wearing the mask with the two guns was Duffy’s own stepson, 20-year-old Jerry Poge.
“He traumatized us; we are still nervous, jittery and shaky from that happening,” said Duffy.
Poge is now in jail, along with the other suspects in the video facing charges in the brazen robbery.
“Video does help the police. It does,” Chief Gebhart said.
How video can help with convictions
Chief Gebhart says any time his department gets home security video for a case it provides another level of evidence to help with a conviction. One case, in particular, involved the death of K-9 Officer Harlej. In 2019 the 5-year-old Belgian Malinois was shot and killed during a manhunt for two suspects.
“The Ring helped us to coordinate exactly where that suspect was running from so we could find that gun that he hid underneath a tree,” Chief Gebhart said.
The suspect in the case was eventually sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to fatally shooting Harlej.
“There’s instances where video has put you in the right area that may not equate to the solve, but it helps the case go faster. It helps us get to where we need to be,” Chief Gebhart said.
If a crime happened outside your home, would you feel safe without a camera? Police say it all depends on your peace of mind.
“I think it’s a personal choice on how they feel about their house. What helps them feel secure; then do it. It’s worth it,” said Chief Gebhart.
If you are considering a home security camera, there are many models being sold. The videos in this report were all from Ring home security cameras. In 2018, Amazon purchased Ring. Ring has partnered with over 2,000 police departments across the country allowing police to request access to customers’ video footage to help in investigations.