“Open this door or we’re going to kill you.”
Those were the chilling words screamed at a North Carolina man as armed robbers held him at gunpoint and forced him to unlock his front door.
The problem is, these masked criminals forgot they live in 2019… where virtually everything is caught on camera.
And this alleged robbery was no different. A Ring doorbell was installed on the front porch of the victim’s home.
For those that haven’t heard about this new piece of tech, it’s essentially a ‘smart doorbell’ that helps protect your home by capturing video footage of anyone who sets foot in front of your door. While it’s typically just handy for catching vandals and sloppy delivery drivers who throw packages instead of hand-deliver them, they’ve helped members of law enforcement gather extra evidence to help solve more crime.
Last Wednesday, Fayetteville Police Department says that one of those cameras caught four masked men attempting to break into a family’s North Carolina home. The frightening scenario can be seen below.
The victim’s fiancée told police that she was inside the home at the time of the attempted break in. She was with the couple’s 4-month-old and 4-year-old children.
While her significant other struggled on the other side of the door with the masked men, trying to keep them from getting inside, his fiancée heard the commotion.
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She told police she heard noises from the porch and that’s when she opened the door. The masked men then allegedly burst inside, still openly carrying their weapons and began pocketing everything they could.
Police say that the suspects made off with cash, cell phones, debit cards, lottery tickets, and marijuana.
In an apparent effort to destroy the video evidence, the masked intruders reportedly smashed the Ring doorbell as they fled the scene.
They probably didn’t understand how remote cloud-based storage works.
“It is definitely concerning especially if you’re living in that neighborhood or if you are the victim yourself,” said Fayetteville police spokesperson Shawn Strepay. “As of right now, we’re obviously very early on in this investigation, but our detectives do have some information saying that this may not be a completely random incident.”
Anyone with information about the robbery is being urged to call Fayetteville Police Department or Crimestoppers at (910) 483-8477.
Reports have circulated that say Ring has partnered with over 200 police departments across the country in a conjoined effort to break up more criminal activities.
WPD is excited to join Neighbors by @Ring, a neighborhood watch app that sends you crime and safety alerts from your neighbors and the @WaterfordPolice Text ‘waterfordct’ to 555888 or click here: https://t.co/M5FRd71Hht to download the app for free pic.twitter.com/kycaRqnPWo
— Waterford Police (@WaterfordPolice) July 30, 2019
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“Every decision we make at Ring centers around privacy, security and user control,” a Ring spokesperson said in a statement. “While law enforcement partners can submit video requests for users in a given area when investigating an active case, Ring facilitates these requests and user consent is required in order for any footage or information to be shared. Law enforcement cannot see how many Ring users received the request, declined to share or opted-out of all future requests.”
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At least 200 law enforcement agencies around the country have entered into partnerships with Amazon’s home surveillance company Ring. https://t.co/NkCtC6GCig
— VICE (@VICE) July 29, 2019
Ring wants people to know that police are unable to simply view the footage; they would have to be given access.