Texas Man Watches His Home Getting Robbed Via iPhone

Using an iPhone app, Vince Hunter sees his home being robbed.

ByABC News
August 25, 2010, 8:12 AM

Aug. 25, 2010— -- Imagine watching a home burglary in real time. Now imagine that it's your home.

That's what happened to Vince Hunter of Dallas last week as he and his wife were visiting family 1,500 miles away in Connecticut.

On Friday, while Hunter was out pumping gas, a $4.99 iPhone app called iCam sent Hunter a text message that the motion detectors in his house had been activated. Using his phone, he was able to watch live video captured by webcams he'd installed around his home.

"I check the footage, and see in real time guys in this area, and they're kind of hunched over. They'd just broken the glass. I said holy cow, I gotta call 911," he said.

Alerted by the same message, Hunter said his wife called, and he asked her to notify the security company.

"I go back to the footage, sure enough, they're in the backyard checking things out. They're throwing bricks ... at the tempered glass and they can't break it three times. Finally, it appears they wind up and kind of go back in that area, and they just hurl this brick through the glass and ... this brick ends up in our living room," he said.

As Hunter continued to watch, he saw the police arrive a few minutes later, guns drawn. But the burglars had already taken off, spooked by the home's alarm system.

"You know, it was surreal. It really was. The first thing I couldn't believe is that we could do this on our cell phone. Really? A cell phone?" he said.

The Hunter's home had been broken into before, so they had invested in an elaborate security system. Three different cameras allow Hunter to watch surveillance video from any computer. But with the iCam app for his iPhone, he can watch the video from anywhere in the world.

This time, Hunter watched as the robbers ran away empty-handed. But his neighbor wasn't as lucky.

Police believe the pair cleaned out her house just minutes before reaching the Hunters' home.

"They're just hoodlums! The fact that they just keep doing this over and over ... they have to be stopped," said burglary victim Julie McDonald.