Burglar Caught in the Act with Axis Home Video Surveillance

Video surveillance proved to benefit one Texas resident when his home security system helped police identify a burglar.

Homeowner Thomas Marik received a startling phone call from his wife one August afternoon to find out that the couple’s home was burglarized. Marik and his wife were out for the day, so no one was home at the time of the break-in. The couple never experienced a burglary before in their Austin, Texas, neighborhood, but they were prepared.

Marik, a member of the security industry, won an Axis home security camera at an ASIS convention in San Diego, Calif., back in 2007.

“I rushed home as fast as I could,” Marik told Austin-based ABC-affiliate KVUE. “I ran immediately to the computer, and found that I had gotten some good usable video.”

The surveillance camera goes through Marik’s home router and connects to a PC that runs the Axis recording software. Marik is able to view the surveillance footage through his home PC and smartphone. The burglar(s) stole various electronic devices including a digital camera, cell phone, flat-screen TV and laptop computer, but didn’t touch Marik’s PC, according to police reports.

From a few seconds of footage snapped by the camera (click video footage below), a suspect was identified as Ray Adam Luna, 18. Investigators were able to identify Luna based on a tattoo visible through the video.

Nearly one week after the burglary, a warrant was issued and an arrest was made.

Marik never intended to catch a thief by installing the surveillance system. He was just interested in watching the shenanigans his cat got into on the front porch throughout the day on his smartphone.

“I mostly deployed the video camera as a curiosity,” Marik said.

Most home burglaries don’t include incriminating evidence on video. Marik unknowingly positioned the camera in a perfect spot to a catch a thief. The Austin Police Department wouldn’t have been able to clearly identify a suspect without Marik’s surveillance footage.

“His video made the case. If it wasn’t for this, we wouldn’t have a suspect,” said Sgt. David Socha of the Austin Police Department to Austin-based ABC-affiliate KVUE.

Despite that fact that an arrest was made, Marik knows the odds of officers retrieving his family's stolen belongings are slim.

“I’m not counting on getting any of my stuff back, but I’m pleased that there was somebody arrested,” said Marik.

Since Marik’s home burglary, Austin PD have implemented community patrols in his neighborhood. The area had its share of home burglaries prior to the recorded break-in, according to Marik, but now, officers are actively patrolling the area in an effort to protect the community.

About the Author

Christina Miralla is the associate content editor at 1105 Media, Inc.

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