Man breaks into home while family slept, doorbell camera helps nab suspect

Emily might have never known who was in her home if it wasn't for the footage from her motion-activated "Ring" doorbell camera, which records into a cloud.
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DALLAS -- It's a video that will make your heart race. It shows a man looking in the door of a Lakewood Heights home in the middle of the night, then using a towel to open it.

"We assumed he was in the house, because the door was open," said Emily, who asked us not to use her last name for privacy reasons. "It's disconcerting for sure."

Emily might have never known who was in her home if it wasn't for the footage from her motion-activated "Ring" doorbell camera, which records into a cloud.

Her husband woke up to the chime of their front door opening at about 4 a.m. Sunday while she and her daughter were still sleeping.

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When he went to check, he found the door was still open and alerted his family.

The burglar was gone, but they checked their camera footage and called police.

Emily posted about it on their neighborhood Facebook page.

"It wasn't until later in the morning, people started chiming in, and said, 'Hey I have this video too,'" said Emily.

Robin Cook, mother of three, lives just one block away. She woke up to an alert from the same type of doorbell camera, which appeared to show the same man around her porch, about 30 minutes earlier.

"He's kind of walking off the porch, walks in front of my car," said Cook, showing us the footage of the man walking to a neighbor's porch.

"It's one of my worst fears, is someone getting into my house in the middle of the night with my kids here," said Cook. "I felt like he was just kind of trolling the neighborhood trying to find something to take."

Robin's call to police is why they were already in the neighborhood when Emily called.

In fact, officers say it was their video officers that helped them find Rafael Estevez, 57, a few blocks away. They say he had Emily's state fair tickets. Her missing iPad was sitting nearby. Police say he matched the description of the man in the video, from his t-shirt to his tattoos.

"It was such a relief that everybody just has got all of this security going. And even more so now," said Emily.

Within an hour, Emily got everything back, including her state fair tickets. And a suspected burglar is behind bars, thanks to modern technology and good-old-fashioned collaboration.

Estevez is charged with burglary of a habitation, a second-degree felony, and is being held on $50,000 bond. He served seven years for a pleading guilty to another home burglary in Austin back in 1997.