North Dallas homeowner Ryan Kelly had been wanting some extra security for his residence. An alarm had already been installed, so for his birthday last month his wife gave him a gadget to beef things up.
It's a small video camera Kelly can view from his iPhone or iPad called a Dropcam.
Turns out the gift came just in time.
Knowing that break-ins were on the rise in his upscale neighborhood — with thieves busting in from the rear after determining no one's home — Kelly pointed his new Dropcam at the glass windows facing his backyard, according to WFAA-TV in Dallas.
On July 31 Kelly was on business in Denver and got a text that the Dropcam sensed motion. Naturally intrigued he turned on his iPad and watched as a man stalked his backyard...
...and then tried kicking in the back door several times.
On his fourth try the suspect managed to kick open the back door, but the alarm immediately activated and the suspect ran off.
"I'm sitting with my clients dumbfounded this is happening," Kelly told WFAA. "The alarm company called, dispatched police, and police came."
There's also video of the entire incident, which helped police uncover a pattern — they now believe the same guy and a partner has hit at least five other residences.
Here's the raw video of the attempted break-in:
Nothing was stolen from Kelly's house, but he shelled out more than $900 for the busted-in door, WFAA reported.
Kelly made fliers with images he grabbed from the video, the station said, and posted them on utility poles in his neighborhood.
Dallas police hadn't identified the suspect as of Wednesday, WFAA reported.