It was 10:30 p.m. in San Francisco, and Nick V., 33, noticed a strange notification on his phone. Some 1,700 miles away, the Ring camera outside his Dallas home had captured footage of two shadowy, unfamiliar figures walking out of his front door. Odder still, the Ring camera hadn’t recorded anyone entering the home all night, aside from his 17-year-old kid sister, who was housesitting. “I texted her and she didn’t respond,” said Nick. “But it was very clear to me what was going on.”
Nick’s sister had taken advantage of his absence to do the very thing he had explicitly forbidden her to do: throw a house party for her teenage friends. When he returned home days later and confronted her, she denied it. Only after Nick told her he had video evidence did she finally confess.
“There was basically no way that she would not have been caught in that house,” he said. Not only was there a Ring doorbell, but the garage door was hooked up to an app-accessible security system called myQ that showed when it opened and closed. The evening of the party, his sister’s friends had used the garage door as an alternate entrance, and the app’s logs recorded it opening and closing throughout the night. Additionally, Nick’s Tesla Model 3 was parked in the garage, its video camera security system able to automatically record anytime people came close to the car. “For a 17-year-old trying to throw a house party, it was a nightmare,” said Nick.