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Cops: Woman sees home burglar on smartphone

David Bradford, 26, of Flushing, Queens, was arrested

David Bradford, 26, of Flushing, Queens, was arrested Feb. 13, 2014, and charged with burglary after a Glen Cove woman monitoring her home security system with a smartphone saw him inside and called police, Glen Cove police said. Credit: Glen Cove Police Department

A Glen Cove woman using a smartphone saw a burglar ransacking her home in real-time video and helped authorities nab the fleeing suspect, police said Friday.

The homeowner kept a 911 dispatcher updated, tracking the thief's actions as officers arrived.

She was in Brooklyn on Thursday night when she logged into her sophisticated home-surveillance system and spotted the intruder, Glen Cove police said.

"The whole thing was kind of cool because . . . the lady was watching everything live on video," said Officer Eddy Linares, 36, who helped arrest the suspect. "She was saying, 'This guy is running now,' and I would get that as I'm chasing the guy.

"We've never had that before," he said.

David Bradford, 26, of Flushing, Queens, led Linares and Officer Vincent Oppedisano on a brief chase -- over a mesh swimming pool cover and a 6-foot-high fence into a neighbor's yard, police said.

Bradford was arraigned Friday on second-degree burglary and possession of burglar's tools. He was held on bail of $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond.

Police said the burglar was caught on a network of infrared cameras -- from the moment he cut a window screen at 8:14 p.m. to when he "freaked out" as beams from the officers' flashlights bounced into the Marietta Road house.

"He becomes very frantic, running back and forth in the house," Det. Lt. John Nagle said after watching the surveillance footage.

Credit Thursday's heavy snow for prompting the fortuitous security check.

Detectives said the homeowner, who was not identified, was with her son in Brooklyn when his friend called to say it was snowing in Glen Cove. Hoping to catch a glimpse of flakes falling at her home, the woman logged onto the surveillance system.

When the officers arrived, the homeowner stayed online -- and on the phone with a dispatcher -- and relayed what the suspect was doing inside, police said.

When he ran out the rear sliding glass door, the woman told authorities that, too.

The surveillance footage shows the suspect going in the basement, then the second-floor bedrooms, where he took more than $300 from the bedroom of the homeowner's grade school-age daughter, detectives said.

At one point, police said, Bradford looked directly at the camera in the girl's room.

Bradford was in possession of a screwdriver at the time of his arrest, which officers suspect was used to tear open the screen and pry open a front window.

Records show Bradford has convictions for possession of burglary tools, possession of a controlled substance and bail jumping.

After his arrest he complained of chest pains and was briefly treated at Glen Cove Hospital, police said.

Oppedisano, 41, is now a fan of home-surveillance systems.

"Amazing," he said. "It kept us abreast of everything. It kept us safe. It was an extra pair of eyes."

With Gary Dymski


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