SHAWNEE, KS (KCTV) – A little over a week after joining an app by Ring, the police in Shawnee arrested a man thanks to help from the community.
On Tuesday morning, police were called to the Security Bank at 54th and Roberts after someone called and said that a man in the drive-thru was trying to cash stolen checks.
When the police arrived, the man was gone. However, bank employees were able to tell the officers what he looked like and what kind of car he was driving.
“A short time later, his vehicle was found abandoned,” said Sgt. Craig Herrmann with the Shawnee Police Department. “We set out on about a two-hour long perimeter to try and catch him on foot.”
Officers searched neighborhoods east of K-7 between 43rd and 47th and didn’t find him. So, they turned to the “Neighbors by Ring” app and other social media outlets.
“We were able to have people basically continuing to watch, to look for him after we left,” Sgt. Herrmann said.
Ultimately, Martin Caddell was charged with theft, identity theft, and forgery. According to court documents, the alleged crimes happened between Jan. 19 and Feb. 12 and there were multiple victims.
According to the Shawnee Police Department, thousands of people in the area use the app.
“With this app, we’re able to in real-time say, ‘Hey, this is happening right now,’” Sgt. Herrmann explained. “You know, ‘Check your video. Check out your windows.’ You helped us get eyes on the street to try to find this person and it worked.”
They say that, without this technology, they probably wouldn’t have caught Caddell.
“It was us as a police department being able to communicate with the citizens that live in our city and for us to work together,” Sgt. Herrmann said.
This is just the beginning. Police say they’ll keep using the app to stay in the loop on crime and safety in the neighborhood.
The police departments in Shawnee, Olathe, Overland Park, and Lenexa are the first cities in Kansas to use the app.