After five burglaries, victim catches crim on video
A MAN whose home has been burgled four times finally caught the fifth burglary on video.
Owner and resident of the Castlecliff house David Hooper said he'd been burgled five times since he moved in two years ago.
After the fourth burglary he installed a number of surveillance cameras in and around his house, which he can monitor live from his phone.
Mr Hooper was at work at Embassy 3 cinema last Tuesday night when he checked the surveillance feed at about 6.30pm.
"Had I waited 20 minutes later, I would have caught him in the act and had the police here," Mr Hooper said.
At 9pm he checked the feed again, only to see the damage the burglar had caused breaking into his property that evening.
He was unable to go straight home as he was the only one working and had to wait until the end of his shift to get to the scene of the crime.
Embassy 3 shared footage of the burglar from Mr Hooper's surveillance cameras on their Facebook page the next day in an attempt to identify the man, and more than 1200 shares later, a man was arrested in relation to the burglary.
A person he had sold the stolen goods to saw the video and called the police, Mr Hooper said.
The footage shows the man walking past the house just before 7pm, then doubling back and coming on to the property. His face is clearly visible a number of times throughout the video, which is about 23 minutes long.
He knocks on the door before pulling a hand gesture at the security camera and heading around the back to smash a window and climb in.
Mr Hooper's TV screen was smashed when the burglar yanked the TV out from where it was chained to the wall. He also spent some time working to pull off a cage covering the Playstation 3.
Other items were stolen but Mr Hooper is unsure what exactly was taken, although he knew the Playstation, some games, USB sticks, and his guitar had been swiped.
The burglar also took Mr Hooper's electronic cigarette, so when he got home from work he headed out for a smoke.
Mr Hooper was stopped at a police checkpoint on the way home from picking up some cigarettes.
"I said, 'could you please follow me home'. Next thing I had four policemen here doing all the fingerprints."
The response on Facebook was "amazing", he said.
The first time Mr Hooper was burgled, the thieves had gone underneath his house and stolen the copper pipes. The other robberies saw his cupboards cleaned out, his 55-inch TV stolen, and other Playstations nicked.
He estimated about $10,000 worth of his property had been stolen over the five burglaries. Mr Hooper would be getting some of his property back from the latest burglary because the person who bought it turned it in.
"Everyone's telling me to sell up and move. The thing is I would be lucky to sell my house and not still be paying the mortgage ... I'm stuck."
Mr Hooper also didn't want to rent out the property as he had had bad experiences with tenants in the past and did not want to be a landlord again.
"I just want to feel safe in my own house, go to work thinking things are all right."
He is in the habit of checking the surveillance feed on his phone a number of times a day.
Constable Luke Cranston said a man had been identified as a result of a fingerprint analysis. "This male has been remanded on bail to appear in the Whanganui District Court at a later date," Mr Cranston said.
He could not comment on specific details of the case as it was before the court.