Home Got Burgled? There's an App for That!
Posted Jan. 12, 2011
Written by Timothy McClanahan
A burglar in Denver was recently caught not by the owner's dog, but by a web cam app on her cell phone. Claire Blevins of Denver, CO had installed an app on her iPhone to let her keep tabs on her dog via her web cam while she was away. What she saw instead left her shaken - a burglar rummaging through and stealing her belongings.
Blevins believes the burglar gained access to her home using keys she had mailed to her mother to check on her place. Blevins sent the video to the local police, and once a Denver television station showed the video on air, the police got a tip from someone who recognized the thief.
Peter Jones, 47, was arrested on burglary charges shortly afterward. Jones told police he didn't steal anything, but Claire's video shows otherwise.
Blevins isn't the only one who has foiled thieves using the app, iCam, which runs on iPhones and Android phones. Vincent Hunter of Dallas, TX was in Connecticut on a trip in August last year, when he used the same cell phone app to keep track of the four web cams in his house. When he saw intruders hanging around his windows. He called 911, then watched them in real-time as they smashed through his patio door. The intruders left as alarms went off before police could arrive, but his cameras caught details of the getaway car of the would-be thieves.
Cell phones are capable of an amazing amount of things these days, and not all of them are games or other ways to kill the time. Security features like web cam monitoring, or reverse phone lookup services to see who is calling you or your family, or keeping track of where your child (or spouse) are, are all standard fare with modern smart phones. Instead of being afraid of new technology, embrace it and make it work for you.