Special Report: Tech gadgets to keep your home safe

Special Report: Tech gadgets to keep your home safe

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Think about it: You're away from home and you can't remember if you locked the front door. Or maybe you're out for dinner and you want to check in on the sitter at home with your child. Perhaps you're on vacation and you want someone to keep an eye on your belongings.

Homeowners and renters can now keep tabs on all those things with the help of a mobile device, and in-home surveillance technology.

"The right person hasn't seen this video yet. You can see the belt she's wearing. You can see she's got a flashlight in her hand," said Maj. Michael Wills with Biloxi Police Criminal Investigations Division, while scanning home surveillance video from his office.

Wills says the woman seen approaching the front door is a suspect in a burglary and petit larceny from March.

Though she's still on the loose, Wills says the odds of finding her are still better than if the victims did not have a camera.

"Are you going to hundred percent deter the crime? No. But at least if you have a working...operable functioning camera that picks up something, we will have something regardless of how small that something is," Wills said.

MOBILE USERS: Click here to view a slideshow of home safety gadgets

With the touch of a smartphone, it's easier than ever to check on a home or property with the help of affordable smart-home surveillance technology.

"It's piece of mind. We offer everything here to keep you up-to-date on what's going on," said Best Buy Computer Lead Eddie Deleon.

Deleon says he is seeing an up-tick in sales of smart home connection devices, like cameras and controlled lights, before people go on vacation or visit relatives for the holidays.

"They tend to worry about their property at home. They come in, they're extremely nervous. They don't know what to get. We try to relax them, and inform them and educate them on what to get." Deleon said.

The popular Nest Cam allows residents to hear and talk to anyone near the HD camera. It can also sends alerts to smartphone devices if it detects motion and sound.

Another best-selling camera is the wireless Arlo. Similar to the Nest, it offers indoor and outdoor use. Both the Nest and Arlo offer subscriptions to recorded video.

"We've successfully prosecuted several burglaries, larcenies - of course, in addition to other violent crimes robberies [because] video cameras come into play in so many areas; not just personal crimes. That camera on your driveway might pick up a hit-and-run that happened down the street. It might pick up someone stealing from your neighbor's yard," said Major Wills.

But a security camera isn't the only way to protect a home. WeMo allows residents to control home electronics from anywhere using mobile app.

"Whether you are trying to control lighting in your home, your thermostat, your security camera; it's all connected together through the app," said Deleon.

Simply plug the Wemo into an outlet, then plug any appliance or electronic into that switch to have control with your phone.

"Whether you're at home, away at work, doesn't matter. They all hook up together," said Deleon.

Hate having to pull out keys to open a door, or need to give multiple people access to a house? With a phone or key fob nearby, the Kevo opens and locks doors without pulling out keys.

Smart technology is also available with video. Viewing someone at your door is possible from anywhere.

"This right here is our Ring Video Doorbell. The great thing about it is it does have a camera built under that goes straight to your phone," said Deleon. "When someone rings the bell, it goes off and immediately alerts you."

Even with a camera or other smart devices, Biloxi police say if someone is determined to steal - they're going to do it. However, a smart device will make it harder for a thief to get away with items that don't belong to them.

"Someone's going to be determined to steal from someone if they see two houses side by side and they see lights on intermittently on one, beware of dogs signs [and] video surveillance on one, and they don't see on the next house. Most likely they are going to go to that one," said Wills.

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