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Chandler police using Neighbors app to crack down on crimes

(Twitter Photo/AraziRiza)

PHOENIX — A cell phone application is helping Chandler police officers go after criminals.

Chandler Police Commander Edward Upshaw describes the Neighbors app as “a virtual block watch.”

“If you have captured video of a criminal act or suspicious activity in the neighborhood, you have the ability to post that through the Neighbors app,” he said. “Anybody that lives within a 5-mile radius of where you post gets to see it.”

Users can also post crime and safety-related photos and texts. Chandler police officers also are able to see it all thanks to a partnership with the application that started in April.

He said the footage is helping officers crack down on crimes.

“There’s a variety of [crimes] but the biggest one is identifying the people that are porch pirates that are stealing packages,” Upshaw said, adding that’s very common during this time of year.

He said recently officers were able to catch Amazon delivery workers stealing packages they supposedly delivered. Another video captured a man stalking his ex-girlfriend and another captured two teenagers damaging several Christmas inflatables.

The app also has been instrumental in helping Chandler police officers catch thieves breaking into cars.

“These camera systems see these people drive up in cars,” Upshaw said. “Sometimes they can get a plate but at least we get a description of the vehicle.”

The Neighbors app is free. It was created by Ring, Amazon’s smart doorbell, but accepts footage from any other doorbell camera.

Upshaw said Chandler residents can text “CHANDLERAZ” to 555888 to download the app. For every 20 citizens that sign up for the app in Chandler, the police department gets a new Ring smart doorbell they can give to a victim of a crime.

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