Neighbor Whose Camera Caught Fort Worth Kidnapping Reacts to Girl's Rescue - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Neighbor Whose Camera Caught Fort Worth Kidnapping Reacts to Girl's Rescue

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    Neighbor Whose Camera Caught Kidnapping Reacts to Return

    Fort Worth police say a short, home surveillance clip showing the moment Salem Sabatka's kidnapper drove off with her was instrumental in helping them identify the car. (Published Sunday, May 19, 2019)

    Fort Worth police say a short, home surveillance clip that captured a small part of the suspect's car was instrumental in helping them locate 8-year-old Salem Sabatka.

    When Jim Sluck installed a Ring doorbell camera on his Fort Worth home, he never imagined it would help police.

    "We got it to watch out for things that may be offending our helm," said Sluck, who lives along 6th Avenue. 

    But fortunately, Saturday evening, it was watching what was happening just beyond his front yard.

    Doorbell Camera Captures Kidnapping Suspect's Vehicle

    [DFW] Doorbell Camera Captures Kidnapping Suspect's Vehicle

    A neighbor's doorbell camera captured part of the vehicle into which 8-year-old Salem Sabatka was reportedly kidnapped Saturday night.

    (Published Saturday, May 18, 2019)

    The motion-activated camera started to record as the mother of Salem Sabatka was forced from Michael Webb's car. After picking herself up off the ground, she started to yell for help as she watched Webb drive away with her daughter inside.

    "When I came out it was simply because of the screaming and screeching that wasn't stopping," Sluck said. "She was pretty frantic, as you would be. It all happened so fast."

    Sluck said another one of his neighbors had already heard the commotion and was on the phone with 911. Sabatka's mother ran towards him to report what had happened.

    Not long after, police swarmed the neighborhood.

    "No one thinks it's going to happen in their neighborhood," Sluck said. "No one thinks it's going to happen in the suburbs or in the middle of the city like this is. It's scary. Obviously, it was scary."

    It wasn't until officers spotted Sluck's camera and asked to look at his video feed that he realized what it had caught.

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    And though it only showed a short portion of the kidnapping, the video was enough to help investigators come up with a description of Webb's car -- which ultimately led police to Sabatka.

    "Everyone in the neighborhood, everyone in the city, everyone in the state of Texas -- it's just amazing how quickly everyone went into action," Sluck said. "As a neighborhood, as a human, we're obviously really pleased it had, from what we can tell, a good, safe ending."

    He credited the work of Fort Worth police and the efforts of the Fort Worth community for finding Sabatka far more than his surveillance video. But he said he's glad he could play at least some small role in helping to return her safely to her family.

    "It was just neighbors being neighbors," Sluck said. "It's just indicative of the neighborhood we live in -- and the area of town we live in. And it all worked out in the end."

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