- The kidnapping of a Texas woman was captured by a Ring doorbell camera on Tuesday.
- The Manor, Texas, police department has since charged the man accused of the abduction with third-degree felony kidnapping.
- This isn’t the first time a Ring camera has captured footage of a kidnapping: In May, Ring footage was handed over to the police after an 8-year-old girl was kidnapped off the street.
- In June, CNET reported that some US police departments partner with Amazon and Ring to hand out Ring doorbell security cameras for residents. But some of those departments have included conditions that residents hand over the footage upon request.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
After her kidnapping was caught on camera by an Amazon Ring security monitor, the man accused of a Texas woman’s abduction has been arrested.
A 31-second video of the kidnapping – which we first saw on KVUE, an ABC affiliate in Austin, Texas – shows the woman frantically knocking on a neighbour’s door at 9:25 p.m. on Tuesday. Then, she backs up against the door as a man approaches. She says, “Stop, please, no, no, no, no,” as the man says, “Get over here, get into the car,” and drags her away.
You can watch the video below (Warning: this video contains an incident of domestic violence):
Police found the woman unharmed on Wednesday morning, and the woman said no kidnapping had occurred, according to Fox 7. Initially, there were no charges filed, the Texas news station 12News reported at the time.
But on Wednesday evening, Victor Kouchich, who is accused of the kidnapping, was arrested and charged with third-degree felony kidnapping, according to the Manor, Texas, police department’s Facebook page. Kouchich, a 20-year-old resident of Manor, was booked at the Travis County jail on Wednesday.
The affidavit from the arrest says that the woman, age 23, told police that she “didn’t mind the defendant grabbing her to get her back into the vehicle,” according to CBS Austin.
“The girl did know this gentleman, and it was a domestic violence situation,” Lawrence Rideau, a Manor patrol sergeant, said in a video interview on CBS Austin. “They were in a dating relationship. The female, the victim, was taken against her will.”
JUST IN: @ManorPolice 20-year-old Victor Kouchich was arrested tonight and charged with 3rd Degree Felony Kidnapping. Kouchich was transported and booked into the Travis County jail. Photo is from Manor PD’s Facebook page. @fox7austin pic.twitter.com/SiBmvBBgQf
— Jacqueline Sarkissian (@JSarkissian) June 20, 2019
Police are using Ring footage to stop crime
The kidnapping was captured on a video doorbell made by Ring. Ring was originally rejected by the entrepreneurial TV show “Shark Tank” in 2013 but went on to be acquired by Amazon for $US1 billion in 2018. Using motion sensors, Ring doorbell cameras record footage of people who approach your front door. If someone rings the doorbell, the user’s smartphone receives a notification with live footage of the person at the door.
In June, CNET reported that some US police departments were partnering with Amazon and Ring, creating programs for subsidized Ring doorbell security cameras for residents. Some of those departments have included conditions for residents receiving the discounted Ring cameras: police get full access to Ring footage upon request.
Ring countered that condition in a blog post, saying it’s at the discretion of users to distribute their footage. But without that understanding, the conditions of some of these subsidized programs have the potential to create a police surveillance network, sparking privacy concerns. (In the case of the Manor kidnapping, a neighbour submitted their Ring footage to the police.)
This isn’t the first instance a Ring security camera has recorded a kidnapping and ultimately assisted in an arrest. In May, an 8-year-old girl was kidnapped off the street in Fort Worth, Texas. Neighbours submitted their Ring video -which captured the kidnapping – to police, who were able to catch the person suspected of the abduction after posting the video on social media and consequently getting a tip, according to KTRK, an ABC affiliate in Houston.
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