Ring Doorbell Cameras

In this July 16, 2019, file photo, Ernie Field pushes the doorbell on his Ring doorbell camera at his home in Wolcott, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said the rise in homeowners' use of doorbell and surveillance cameras has become "crucial" in solving crimes, as seen in the case of the viral kidnapping video of a woman in the valley.

Police said after hundreds of thousands of people had seen a homeowner's surveillance video, someone in the valley tipped off police to the names of the people in that video. 

Officers said on New Year's Day, 23-year-old Darnell Rodgers violently assaulted and abducted a woman. A stranger notified police she had Nest video of the incident. 

Metro said the need for these videos will increase through the 2020s. 

"They help solve crimes. Police use them all the time," said former Henderson police chief Tommy Burns, who is now a security consultant. At one point Burns was the director of security for Harrah's properties and other casinos in the valley.

Burns said the sharing of these videos on social media apps such as Facebook, NextDoor and Neighbors for Ring doorbell users is helping residents be more alert. 

"It gives a neighborhood a sense of community and puts them on alert for this person," he said. 

Residents looking for their own security system should install cameras on multiple sides of their property. Burns recommends to "do your research" on features such as Wi-Fi and police or security notifications.

Burns also suggests that those installing a doorbell camera should answer their door with the speaker system at all times; it may prevent a break-in.

"Don't open your door -- let people know you're there," he said. 

Residents can also register their cameras with Metro and Henderson police. Registration lets detectives know of homes with surveillance cameras in an area if there happens to be a crime. 

When officers ask residents for possibly helpful surveillance video, police remind residents that cooperation is voluntary.

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