Broad Ripple homeowner records real-time video of burglars

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It is good to have a home security system, but imagine using it to watch someone breaking into your home in real-time.

Tuesday morning, Nick Essling watched LIVE from his cell phone as three men broke into his Broad Ripple home.

"Looking through the window, looking through the doors and that's when I thought, I'm getting robbed," Essling said.

While Essling watched the men kick through a different door, he called 911.

"I was looking, though, and I was able to pause it, and give the operator a description of what they look like and what they were wearing," Essling said.

Essling's $200 camera is connected to an app called "Dropcam." It detects motion or sound and sends a push notification as an alert.

"If I didn't have the camera, then I wouldn't have been able to call the police," Essling said.

Using a Wi-Fi connection, the app streams video in real time. Anything that comes through the camera streams to a laptop, smartphone or tablet. Essling's camera even captured footage of police responding to his home.

It was too late, however, so Essling turned to another free app called "Nextdoor" to let his neighbors know.

"It was kind of nice to get a little support from the community. People saying, 'This happened to me as well,' or 'Make sure you don't do this',” Essling said.

"It notifies you anytime anybody posts anything just like Facebook would," said Essling's girlfriend Julie King, who also lives in the home.

The thieves got away with an Apple TV, a flat screen, an iPad and a leaf blower, but Essling wanted others to see it, just like he did.

"Hopefully we can use it to kind of catch these guys and stop the crimes. It's one thing when you hear it from everybody else, but when it happens to you it's a little bit different," Essling said.

Now left replacing hundreds of dollars in property, King is looking on the bright side.

"At least now I know what to get you for Christmas," she told Essling during our interview Wednesday night.

Click here to see the video for yourself. If you recognize the suspects, call IMPD at (317) 327-3264.