KENSINGTON, Md. - Doorbell video of an alleged peeping tom helped Montgomery County police track down the suspect and charge him in two different incidents involving minors.
Police arrested and charged 56-year-old Derek Hill of Kensington after he was allegedly seen on video via the Ring doorbell app, taking pictures of the bedroom windows of two different homes back in February.
According to charging documents, in the first incident on Feb. 10, the mother
of a 10-year-old-girl told Montgomery County police that she noticed on the video a man walking up to her daughter's bedroom on Everette Street just shortly after 7 a.m.
Police said that Hill is seen on the video, recording the bedroom window with a video camera held in his right hand before turning and walking back down the driveway.
The mom snapped a still image of Hill and posted it on to the Nextdoor neighborhood app, alerting the community.
According to court documents, a few weeks later on Feb. 24, a different Kensington woman called police to report that her 13-year-old daughter had fallen victim to the same peeping tom.
It was the original mother’s Nextdoor post that got her to report the February 17 incident.
"I think as a girl my age, I am aware of it to begin with so like getting to your car and locking the door and other safety hazards that I’m just aware of," said Grace Boogaerts of Kensington.
"Off the bat, like watching kids here, it’s a safe neighborhood to begin with and I grew up here so I’m not really worried."
"Taking the time to post that on Nextdoor Neighbors to then extend your reach in terms of those who could identify this individual, I think is very smart and we certainly encourage that," said Kevin Nicks of Kensington.
"This is a neighborhood where you will see kids riding their bikes alone and you feel pretty good about that because we know those kids are primarily safe but also that we are all looking out for them and if something does happen that looks a bit out of sorts, then someone will say something and I know that is somewhat unique to Kensington."
Fox 5’s Ayesha Khan attempted to speak with both mothers by going to their residence listed in the court documents and inquire about whether they would share the Ring videos.
Only one of the mothers spoke with Khan in person but said that she did not feel comfortable.
In addition, the state attorney’s office told Khan, those videos are part of their ongoing investigation.
Hill is currently out on bond and is scheduled to appear in court on June 25.