Local News

Burglars captured on home surveillance system

Posted July 22, 2008 5:57 p.m. EDT
Updated July 23, 2008 9:20 a.m. EDT

— Michael Crews doesn't know the people who broke into his home personally, but he knows what they look like because his home surveillance system captured the weekend break-in.

Crews, who took his daughter to summer camp and was away for the weekend, came home to find a mess in his living room and a shattered window in his son's bedroom.

"(Police) couldn't quite identify what they used to break the window, but it was obvious they used something very heavy because it broke the frame as well," he said.

The burglars stole a 42-inch, flat-screen television, a couple of flat-panel computer monitors, a Wii Nintendo system, a PlayStation console and an electric guitar. Crews estimated the loss at about $3,500.

"(I feel) just literally violated. They have taken everything I spent hard-earned hours working to get," he said.

One thing the two thieves didn't nab was $470 worth of cameras the size of lipstick tubes – and the video captured with the cameras might end up nabbing the pair.

The video shows the two robbers, who appear to be teens, arrived just after 4 a.m. Saturday and returned at about 5 a.m. One of them initially wore socks on his hands to avoid leaving fingerprints, but his hands were bare on the second trip.

Fayetteville police said the video could help lead to the arrests of the two burglars. It already has helped them collect more evidence in the case – they found fingerprints on a scanner.

"They were impressed that I actually had the system to begin with. They were in shock," Crews said. "I would almost guarantee that (the burglars) would probably get away with it (if not for the cameras). If they had any idea that they were there, they might not have done it."

The computer technician said he installed the home surveillance system for his children's protection since they are sometimes home by themselves.

A small sign on the home's windows warns would-be thieves of the surveillance system, but he said the pair who broke in over the weekend must not have noticed it. He plans to put bigger signs up to deter other thieves.

Crews said he has lived in the Glen Canyon Drive home for 14 years, and the weekend break-in was the first time he has been burglarized. He said he doesn't know if he was singled out.

“They obviously knew I was out of town,” he said.

Police hadn't made any arrests by Tuesday evening, and anyone who recognizes the burglars or has information about the break-in is asked to call the Fayetteville Police Department.