NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- More people are turning to surveillance camera doorbells to keep their homes and neighborhood safe.
From the moment someone steps onto Dee Dee Foti's porch in Norfolk, everything that is said or done is recorded. Foti can watch in real time what's happening on her front steps. She can see what's happening by using an app on her phone miles away at work.
She's part of the thousands who are making a change and installing doorbells that double as surveillance cameras. The camera starts recording when it detects motion, so it helps catch possible suspicious activity.
Recently while at home, she noticed something odd outside her door. She decided to record what was happening with her cellphone.
"I saw a vehicle pull up with a gentleman in it, and a female running," Foti said. "I got the license plate number and held onto the video."
Since her Ring doorbell comes with a virtual neighborhood watch feature, others can post suspicious videos that their doorbell cameras catch. In the group, Foti saw something familiar to what happened near her.
"Someone had posted the video, whereby, it was a gentleman stealing packages. It was the same vehicle. It was the same gentleman, same clothes, same shoes, same everything," she said.
She gave the police the video. Foti's video matched up with the other person's doorbell video and an arrest was made.
Even Foti's neighbor was the victim of a porch pirate. Luckily, the suspect was captured on the neighbor's doorbell camera stealing a package in broad daylight.
Police love the electronic eyes keeping watch in neighborhoods across the country.
"It helps tremendously through any kind of crime, whether it's a larceny or burglary, or tampering with a vehicle, or even a theft of or in a vehicle. It helps to trap where the offender went," Newport News Police Detective Jacqueline Merriman said.
In a study conducted by Los Angeles Police, a neighborhood with doorbell cameras saw a 50 percent reduction in burglaries.
Foti said the doorbell cameras are catching on in her neighborhood. Residents are even doing a better job looking out for one another.
"And to do that, when a package is delivered, we help each other out by getting the package and bringing it to our homes," Foti said.