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Surveillance cameras egging on more destructive teen pranks?

Posted at 12:49 PM, Jun 10, 2019

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Doorbell cameras show teen pranks getting more destructive and some wonder if the cameras themselves could be sparking some of the damage.

Videos of young kids playing 'Ding Dong Ditch' with doorbells are nothing new, but some teens are now taking it to another level.

"Very disturbing," said Lilly, a homeowner who lives on Hilltop Drive in Chollas View. In the last few months on three different occasions, rocks or bottles have been thrown at her home and car. Her car's back window was shattered during one incident.

"All the kids were laughing and running away," said Lilly.

Each time, she caught at least one middle-school-aged boy running from her home. Several cameras are clearly mounted on the front of her house. In one video from the past week, a groups of boys walks past her lawn and one of them rips out her solar lights.

Last Tuesday night in Lemon Grove, three teens are seen walking in front of a home. Suddenly when one walks toward the door, motioning to his leg. With a big smile on his face, the teen kicks the door forcefully and runs off. The homeowner posted on the Neighbors by Ring app that it caused major damage to his frame and paint.

In that case, the doorbell camera was again in plain sight. They're meant to deter crime and they often do, but could surveillance camera in these cases be adding to the motivation for these teens? One San Diegan posting on the app about 'truth-or-dare games' in his neighborhood with young kids and dares involving surveillance cameras.

"Really scary to think these are younger kids with young minds making horrible choices ... They know they can be caught and do it anyways," said Lilly.

"Some teens can be drawn to doing stupid things in front of thee camera because of the thrill and excitement, and because that age group is more prone to not thinking about the consequences," said Dr. Mark Kalish, a forensic psychiatrist.