Homeowners Outsmart Burglars with App, Hidden Cameras

New Jersey man scared away an intruder by talking through a free iPhone app connected to cameras.
6:45 | 05/29/14

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Transcript for Homeowners Outsmart Burglars with App, Hidden Cameras
home burglarized knows that terrifying feeling of powerlessness and personal violation. But now increasingly people are fighting back using technology. And we are not talking super sophisticated, you have to be a rocket scientist technology. You are about to meet real people who have rigged their own homes with surveillance cameras and then had the surreal experience of watching the bad guys invade live. Here is ABC's jay Schadler. Reporter: You are watching a home invasion, a would-be burglar breaking into a new Jersey home. Seems he may have done this before. First thing he spots a surveillance camera and turns it away. Now, thinking he is in the clear, he moves on to the rest of the room. Looking for valuable goods to lift. But what this intruder does not know is that he is walked into a homeowner's revenge. A house boobytrapped for this moment. I had three cameras. One wasn't working. One he thought may have recorded him. He turned it around. When the savvy homeowner received an alert on his iPhone from his remote security system warning him that his sliding door had been opened he was just sitting down to a nearby restaurant about to get a bit of dinner theater. It was the real thing. It happened to me. Reporter: He watched sticky fingers at work. But helpless he was not. Using just his phone, equipped with a special app, he was able to tap into one of the camera's loud speakers. I simply told him, hey, I can see you, just please leave my home. Reporter: Nothing worse than a disembodied voice telling you out of the blue you have been caught red-handed. I think here is a man who is proactive. Who used available technology to notify him when a burglar is in his home. It was outstanding. His response was terrific. Reporter: It may seem a little elaborate. He isn't the first homeowner to catch a thief like this. Around the country remote control cameras are being used to protect people's possessions and even their lives. Back in 2012, Eric Gilbert pulled up to his California hem to be greeted with a gun to his head. It is a near execution caught on tape. After two excruciating minutes. Gilbert managed to escape. All caught on a newly installed home surveillance system. Then there is this. 911? Yes, hi, my name is Jean Thomas. Ic they this one woman sting operation in Florida. I'm watching my home, on monitor. There is a man in my house. He is robbing it. Reporter: She had been once before and vowed never to let it happen again. He is walking around. Hand looking at things. Reporter: Started when Jean came home to a shocking discovery. I noticed the house was missing a lot of items that was there when I left in the morning. Reporter: What is that moment like? Just total violation. Reporter: Not only did they do it they got away with it. Unless we catch them in the act of coming out or catch them in possession they get away with it. Promising herself never to be caught off-guard again. Jean took matters and a computer mouse into her own hands. I want to know what is happening. I bought the video surveillance system. All over the in tternet you can watch the battle. Homeowners breaking out their own arsenal of do it yourself surveillance equipment. Take a peek at this man, motivated by a string of robberies he rigged his apartment with a camera and motion detector and caught a couch potato crook live, the pictures sent to his e-mailbox. The first image I got was like this. Okay, there is some one sitting on my couch. He basically came from the fire escape. Opened the window and came in. Kind of like watching a reality show, but directly affecting you. Police responded within minutes. And the thief was nabbed and sentenced to five years in jail. I'm behind the idea that people should try on their own, technology is becoming part of our lives, really fast. So we should learn how to do these things. Reporter: Which brings us back to Jean and her burglary. For $250 she bought an off the shelf surveillance system. No wiring. A snap to set up she says. You can leg on from anywhere. Now your husband what did he think of video surveillance? He thought it was the stupidest ever. This is a waste of money. Why are you doing this? You will not catch anything happening. Reporter: For a long time, he was right. Unless you kid pet shenanigans criminal. I would log in seeing my dogs do things they shouldn't be. The minute you leave the house they would leap on the soapa. Then the day came. Jeanne was sitting in her office the I had a foolieeling. I logged on. There was a man in my living room. It is surreal. A dream, a nightmare. This isn't really happening. Reporter: Oh, it is happening live. Suddenly Jeanne find herself doing play-by-play for the cops on the 911 call. He doesn't know I am sitting here watching. He is walking next to my stereo. Oh, he picked up a wii video game. Everybody stopped what they were doing heading to the area. Reporter: With the cops closing in, Jeanne discovers where once there were one, there are now. Two people in the house. Here comes another one. This is crazy. They have things in their hand. Ma'am, it is okay. Officers are surrounding your house. They're not going to get away with anything. Oh, I am scared. Ma'am, I need you to calm down, okay. I'm sorry. Reporter: Moments later the two men were arrested and the cops made a sweep of the house. Both men and two accomplices convicted of burglary. Pictures are worth 1,000 word. So is videotape. Reporter: Police say one in ten home break-ins are ever solved. Mostly because I.d.'g burglars is so difficult. With this new bit of technology you just might turn the tables on the crooks by just turning on your web-cam. What's the moral of the story? When you think nobody is watching. There could be somebody else watching. More and more by the mainstream. Situations like this, happened. And we see proof of their effectiveness. Reporter: Back in New Jersey, thanks to the surveillance footage. Police quickly track down the suspect. 22-year-old oliver luanges, the alleged burglar is held on $50,000 bail all thanks to a free app, iPhone and few small cameras. For "Nightline," i'm jay Schadler in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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