Surveillance system text alert foils burglary in Northeast Philadelphia

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A homeowner was at work Friday when he received a text alert from his surveillance system that someone was in his home in Northeast Philadelphia. (WPVI)

A homeowner was at work Friday when he received a text alert from his surveillance system that someone was in his home in Northeast Philadelphia. The technology helped police get there in time to stop a crime in progress and arrest the culprits dead in their tracks.

"It's amazing technology today," said neighbor Bruce Rook.

The neighborhood in the 7700 block of Revere has been living on edge due to a rash of burglaries.

"This is not the first time it happened in broad daylight. My next door neighbor? Broad daylight. My cross the street neighbor? Broad daylight," said neighbor Ray Mari.

And Friday afternoon around 1, police say it was another neighbor who was being burglarized. Except this neighbor had a surveillance system that send text messages to his phone whenever he's at work and there is movement inside the house.

"He activates the cameras on his cell phone, and he sees males breaking into his house," said Philadelphia Police Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum.

The homeowner quickly calls police, and within seconds, 15th District officers were on the scene.

"I'm telling you, I've never seen so many police cars at one time," said Mari.

"Some of the males were carrying a TV out of the house and the loot, all the bags of stuff that they had taken," said Rosenbaum.

Police say the burglars jumped into a Nissan Xtera SUV and tried to make a run for it. But they crashed nearby into a parked car. Police quickly apprehended three men and a woman.

"A lot of jewelry, cash and electronics were recovered. They were throwing it from the vehicle, and had dropped a lot of it on the way to the vehicle," said Rosenbaum.

Some neighbors, victims of recent burglaries themselves, were amazed with the technology that helped stop the crime in progress.

"I bet you wish you had something like that in your home when you were burglarized?" asked reporter Dann Cuellar.

"That I do, trust me. I wish I did," said neighbor Bruce Rook.

"Oh, I think it's great," said Mari.

"It's worth every penny. He's getting all his stuff back, probably at least over $1,000 worth of electronics, and even more in jewelry," said Rosenbaum.

The four burglars are being questioned by police. They now face charges of burglary, theft and related offenses.

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