Grand Strand

Myrtle Beach police partners Ring doorbell footage with Real Time Crime Unit

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) - The City of Myrtle Beach has more than 800 cameras in its real-time crime unit. Now that the city has picked up the Neighbor's Ring doorbell partnership, police have access to even more video sources. 

Police say the new partnership with Ring complements the city cameras and license plate readers that have already been used for years to keep you safe.

The ring cameras, often built into buzzers, alert your phone when someone is at your door.

"It just gives us one more way to communicate with our residents as well as gather information," MBPD Cpl. Thomas Vest said. "It just helps us do our jobs better."

Vest said there are more than 2,500 users in the city and that the app has already shown success for them.

Ring doorbell video, partnered with city license plate reader footage, was used to make an attempted burglary arrest. 

"We were able to find the vehicle the next day on our cameras, track it through our license plate readers, and from there we had information about a possible suspect in the case within a day," Vest said. 

Some have said it feels like Big Brother is at the doorstep.

News13 asked Vest about privacy issues, and he said police can only see what you hand over.

"The owner has to put it up on the app or communicate," Vest said. "The only time the Ring representatives or us see any of the video is if they post it up."

He said even when you post something on the app, it does not show your name or the exact location of your house.

"The locations are all obscured," Vest said. "When we look at the app we're able to see the general location of cameras; it doesn't tell us exactly where it is."

In a video that went viral locally, one Myrtle Beach woman's Ring camera caught a "zombie man" trying to break down her door. 

You can download the free ‘Neighbors’ app on iOS or Android devices or text "MYRTLEBEACHSC" to 555888 to see what’s happening in your neighborhood.

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