Many homeowners skip crucial step when sharing security video

Many homeowners skip crucial step when sharing security video. (WOAI)

SAN ANTONIO (WOAI) – As home security cameras become more affordable, it’s never been easier to catch bad guys in the act and alert your neighbors on social media.

But police say too many homeowners are skipping a crucial step: filing an official report.

"People a lot more attuned with what's going on around the neighborhood,” says Jonathan Delmer, president of Oak Park Northwood Neighborhood Association.

Residents in his area are especially active on the Nextdoor app, a private setting for neighbors to speak their minds.

"It's specific to our neighborhood,” Delmer says. “Other people from outside can't see it."

But neither can law enforcement. The San Antonio Police Department says too many people are posting security videos of suspected thieves to social media, but not calling police.

"We definitely need that police report to help us document it,” Officer Doug Greene says.

He says your videos are vital evidence; specially trained officers can enhance the images and search for patterns.

"If they're moving on the north side, if they're moving on the south side, we can communicate with other follow-up units and hopefully make an arrest soon,” Greene says.

The videos are valuable crime-fighting tools, but only if you call police.

"If you've got video tape, chances are you're going to go a long way to getting your stuff back,” Delmer says.

He is working with Nextdoor to add a feature that lets users give San Antonio Police access to crime posts, but cautions posting to social media is no substitute for filing a police report.

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