Neighborhood watch becomes digital

Doorbell cameras have been keeping an eye out on Black Hills neighborhoods.
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 5:01 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - A home security camera recorded a car burglary occurring over night in Sturgis, three vehicle burglaries have happened in Sturgis recently, all vehicles were unlocked.

In Box Elder, a vehicle burglary was interrupted by an outside camera with a light. Although the offender wasn’t caught, he stopped the crime attempts afterward.

“You have all these houses with those cameras and we’re able to go talk with them and get their copy of their footage of the suspect vehicles and any other information we can grab,” said Officer Carter Smith of Box Elder Police Department.

However, neighborhood communities still come together, Box Elder neighborhoods exchange information through a Facebook group account and Rapid City has multiple neighborhood watch groups but Medina notes that lookouts are becoming increasingly digital.

When assessing a witness from a neighborhood watch group, the police calls this methodology, proactive.

“We would encourage those people to give us a call, we’ll hook them up with their, we call them sector lieutenant, who can either be the one or assign somebody to help them through the process standing up a neighborhood watch or addressing any concerns they have for that neighborhood.”

And relying on footage from a home security camera is what they call “reactive.”

“We’re looking for other witnesses or evidence or video evidence who can help us hold whoever that offender is accountable for what they’ve done.”

Medina and Smith recommend home owners get a doorbell security camera and to not hesitate to call the authorities if you are worried or suspicious about any neighborhood activity.

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