Matt Dawson hopes the images captured from his security camera will aid Waxahachie Police to identify the person who robbed his home in broad daylight.
Law enforcement officials and security professionals agree that the advances in home security technology, such as the equipment installed by Dawson, continue to help keep residents safer and locate perpetrators promptly if a crime happens.
Dawson reported his dirt bike stolen from his property to Waxahachie Police on Aug. 18 in the 300 block of Modene Ave. Video from the security camera shows a man walk up to the house and remove the bike that was leaning against the garage.
Dawson stated the theft happened when nobody was home, but his vehicle was parked in the driveway.
“He just showed up just walking down the street," Dawson said. “I guess he didn’t see the camera and he went ahead and took the bike. He couldn’t get it started, so he kind of pushed it up into my neighbor's yard.”
Dawson stated the person was also captured on a neighbor’s video while pushing the bike around the corner.
He has since shared the video on Facebook and it has gotten more than 3,600 likes. His goal for sharing the video is to warn the community — and find his dirtbike.
Dawson stated he installed the Ring camera system only a few weeks before the theft happened.
“I like the capability that it has. It rings me, and all that I have to do is answer it. I felt that we needed it because we just had a baby, a little girl, about a week and a half ago,” Dawson said. “In our neighborhood, Gingerbread Village, you can’t have that front fence. That is our only defense in our area.”
Jeff Hughes, a salesman with Bat Security in Waxahachie, stated the security systems that are being installed today are driven by technological advancements and allows the homeowner to become more involved with personal protection.
"Nowadays there are smart home systems where it acts more like a convenience for you where you can arm and disarm the system remotely controlling things like the lights, locks and the thermostat,” Hughes said. “The system is becoming more home automated, and the smart home security is a feature of it. It gives you notifications if your alarm is not set or lets you know that your system is armed or disarmed by your kid who is coming home from school.”
Harris stated the technologies in these systems have progressed in the last six years and have become more affordable for the average consumer — down from thousands of dollars to just a couple hundred to outfit a home. Some of the interactive devices Bat Security offers include cameras, doorbell cameras, door locks, lights, garage doors and thermostats controlled by a smartphone.
Hughes stated devices like the video doorbell helps gives additional protection to a homeowner before the open the door to a stranger.
Waxahachie Police Chief Wade Goolsby stated the cameras that homeowners install on their homes are of great value to police, as well.
“Normally, in the past, when we would have offenses where somebody steals a package or does some damage outside we don’t have anything to go on,” Goolsby said. “Nowadays the camera that is in place in so many homes, it gives us a good picture of the suspect and sometimes vehicles. So it helps us a lot.”
Goolsby stated the number of people putting this technology into their homes has increased over the last few years.
“It would not surprise me to see it become standard equipment when builders build homes because it is becoming so commonplace,” Goolsby said. “The advent of the doorbell cameras and things that make it simple for people to give them the ability to monitor their home from their cell phone away from the house. I think that it is going to increase even more in the future.”
Palmer Police Chief John Zaidle stated these types of security systems could act as an excellent deterrent to crime. It also provides vital information to police if an incident does happen
“We can use that camera footage and take that time and check in each direction for cameras at any other businesses and residents in the area. We can review the footage and see where the vehicle went,” Zaidle said. “We can also share the photos and video on some sharing systems that we have. We have linked crimes before to the same vehicle in several different counties.”
Zaidle stated there is about a 60 percent increase in being able to solve and get a conviction when video footage is available in a case.
People with information about Dawson's theft can contact the Waxahachie Police Department at 469-309-4410. The department is located at 630 Farley Street in Waxahachie.