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US soldier in Iraq catches burglars at his IL home through doorbell camera app

Police Line Crime Scene. (Tony Webster/WikiCommons)
February 24, 2020

A U.S. soldier in Iraq was able to stop a pair of burglars at his home in Illinois on Friday with help from a doorbell camera app and local police.

Richard Wharton, who is currently deployed roughly 6,500 miles from his home, saw the burglary taking place through his doorbell camera app connected to his smartphone. He was able to alert police in Park Ridge, Ill. who were able to catch the two suspects, WGN TV reported.

“He saw it and watched it and communicated great with us and called us right away,” Tom Gadomski with Park Ridge police told WGN TV.

Police said Wharton was able to give exact descriptions of the two suspects in his home, who were primarily in his garage, stealing his power tools.

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Police arrested Andres Gutierrez, 23, and Brandon Shaw, 24, at around 2:30 a.m. on Friday in Illinois. Wharton was reportedly setting down for lunch in Iraq when he saw the burglary taking place.

“We had officers right in the area and found the offenders and took them into custody,” Gadomski said.

Police caught the suspects with items from Wharton’s house as well as items from recent car break-ins in the area, NBC 5 reported.

Gadomski said the police response time was, “Maybe a couple of minutes, tops. That’s how fast it was.”

“So, talk about service from Iraq back to Park Ridge, Illinois. That’s pretty impressive,” Gadomski continued.

Other neighbors expressed shock at Wharton’s luck in catching the burglary as it was taking place.

“I was blown away, like the rest of us in the neighborhood who’ve heard about it,” said one of Wharton’s neighbors, Marianne Guzzi. “What are the odds?”

Gutierrez and Shaw were reportedly charged with three counts of burglary, including at Wharton’s home and the car burglaries.

“We just can’t say thank you enough for both serving his country and local community,” he said of both Wharton’s service and his police call.