TikToker’s doorbell camera may help cops crack identity theft case at Texas apartments

John Locher/AP

A woman on TikTok had millions on the edge of their seats as she recounted a wild story of suspected identity theft and her Ring doorbell camera.

The creator known as @notjessicasimpson, or Jess, on TikTok, got more than 9 million views on her video about the story, which started with a knock on her door in Texas as she settled in for the evening.

When she opened the door, Jess said she was facing a Dallas police officer who asked to see any suspicious footage from her Ring doorbell camera due to an incident on Jan. 10.

“I showed him the footage on my phone hoping he would tell me what this incident was,” Jess admitted sheepishly in her video.

The Dallas Police Department told McClatchy News it did not have enough details to provide specifics on the case described in the video considering the ambiguity of Jess’ location.

As Jess scanned the footage with the officer, the two couldn’t find anything strange in the film — until the officer left, and Jess said she took a closer look.

Jess wandered her complex in search of the officer and eventually went to the front desk, where an apartment employee told her that police were investigating a resident who lived above her, she said in her video.

“Your upstairs neighbor is stealing people’s identities by getting into their mailboxes,” she said the worker told her. “I was appalled.”

Jess said the worker told her someone confronted the suspected thief and brandished a gun, which prompted police to begin searching for the armed individual.

Soon after, the police officer visited the front office and Jess showed him the footage, which she said was not what the officer was looking for but she was “doing her civic duty.”

After the interaction later that night, Jess said someone attempted to open her door and pounded on it, but her Ring camera was offline and she was unable to see who it was.

“I am now thoroughly convinced that someone is targeting me for snitching, for showing the cops my Ring footage,” Jess said in her video.

Several days later, Jess posted an update assuring viewers she was safe but added that she heard what sounded like her upstairs neighbors moving heavy equipment out of their apartment late at night, which some viewers said she should tell the police.

“This video took so many turns. And I leaned into every one. I must know more,” one person said about the creator’s first video.

“Who was at the door? Where’s the rest? You’re a great storyteller. I’m so mad I don’t have the ending,” another said.

Help prevent identity theft by protecting your information with the following tips, according to the Federal Trade Commission:

At home:

  • Keep your financial records, Social Security and Medicare cards in a safe place

  • Shred papers that have your personal or medical information

  • Take mail out of your mailbox as soon as you can

As you do business:

  • Only give your Social Security number if you must. Ask if you can use another kind of identification

  • Do not give your personal information to someone who calls you or emails you

On the computer:

  • Use passwords that are not easy to guess. Use numbers and symbols when you can

  • Do not respond to emails or other messages that ask for personal information

  • Do not put personal information on a computer in a public place, like the library

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