Residents in Red Oak can breathe a sigh of relief after police nabbed two men last Tuesday accused of burglarizing a home and running off with an estimated $1,500 worth of jewelry.
The duo didn’t escape, however, before leaving their images on the doorbell camera, which helped the Red Oak Police Department to make the Oct. 15 arrests less than two weeks after the incident.
Police say Courtney Douglas People, 57, of Lancaster rang the doorbell of a residence on the 1500 block of Shawnee Road, while his accomplice, Jason Ray Smith, 24, of DeSoto stood watch not far behind. After realizing no one was home, police say the suspects forced their way inside through the backdoor.
The police department’s Criminal Investigation Division used the doorbell camera footage to not only nab the suspects but to also retrieve the stolen jewelry from a pawn shop in Dallas.
“Once we were able to take the offense report and process physical evidence at the scene which includes the video and the still shots which were obtained from the doorbell camera, we could positively identify the people once we compared it to the items that were pawned because anytime you pawn something you have to present a Texas ID or a Texas driver’s license," Lt. Marc Schroeder said.
"So, you have the image of the people that pawned the items compared to the image of the people that did the burglary and all the images matched up,” Schroeder further explained.
People and Smith were arrested in Lancaster on charges of burglary of a habitation and are currently held in the Ellis County jail on a $50,000 bond each. Police say they may be tied to other burglaries in the area and elsewhere, including Cedar Hill and Irving.
“Right now it would appear that three additional cases may be linked to these subjects, and we’re finishing our investigation on that,” Schroeder stated.
Residents are advised to contact Detective Michael Fitzgerald at 469-218-7702 or firstname.lastname@example.org if they have surveillance video of People and Smith or spot a white 2000 Toyota Camry in their neighborhoods.