Andráe Thierry was at work when a self-proclaimed salesman arrived at the door of his Beaumont home.
His arrival activated a recently installed smart doorbell system, allowing Thierry to see and speak to the man through an app on his mobile phone.
“I just kept thinking, ‘who is this guy?’ And before I could press the button to talk to him,
he tried opening my storm door,” the 35-year-old said.
In the evolving trend of smart electronic devices, some residents are turning to low-cost, easy self-install security gadgets for some peace of mind.
Thierry uses Ring, one of several smart doorbell systems available for less than $200. The camera is triggered by motion sensors at all hours. The systems use the home’s wireless Internet and syncs to an app, providing visual and audio access to homeowners. Most record video.
“I did call the cops and I was able to talk to the policeman through the camera while I was at work,” Thierry said. “They had gotten 15 different calls about the same man that day.”
Safewise, a website that compares and contrasts security systems, estimates that the average home security system costs between $600 and $1,200, with an additional $30 monthly fee for system monitoring.
The site also states that homeowners who are burglarized typically suffer about $2,100 worth of damage or missing items during summer break-ins.
Beaumont police officer Jessica McCauley said doorbell cameras like Thierry’s were especially helpful during the holiday season, when thieves targeted packages left at front doors.
Many do-it-yourself camera systems offer low-resolution video, Blackmon said, and may not record footage that can be helpful as evidence.
“You’ve got 10 seconds when someone breaks in to actually get a good picture or a profile of a person’s face or a permanent marking like a tattoo to help police,” Blackmon said. “That’s what authorities need.”