Homeowner catches burglar red-handed using surveillance system - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Homeowner catches burglar red-handed using surveillance system

(Source: McLennan County) (Source: McLennan County)
WACO, TX (KXXV) -

A man is in jail after Waco Police caught him red-handed with stuff he supposedly stole from a Central Texas home.

The break-in happened around 9:50 a.m. on the 3200 block of Trice Avenue.

Police were quick to respond to the incident, thanks to a tip from the homeowner himself, who was tired of thieves messing with his belongings.

According to Dennis Pearce, his home was broken into five times in the last six weeks.

"The fourth time we were broken into I had the camera set up but it wasn't working right. Sure enough, the fifth time we got broken into it worked like it was supposed to," said Pearce. 

In response to the break-ins, Pearce installed a home security system that connects to his cell phone. He said it cost him a little over $100 and that it's the best money he's ever spent.

"It gives you a little alert that there's motion going on in the house and then you can flip over and check the video," said Pearce. 

Pearce was able to give a description of the suspect as officers were responding to the scene. When officers arrived, they saw the suspect leaving the house. He was then arrested and charged with burglary of a habitation. The suspect was identified as 40-year-old Jeffrey Ratliff.

"He was very determined to get in because we had plywood over the window that he got in," said Pearce. "He pulled the plywood off, tore out the door facing to get in. Then the camera picked him up when all the motion was going on."

Pearce hopes others follow his lead, saying it's the least they could do to protect themselves.

Waco Police said the suspect does have a record. Ratliff was previously arrested for a burglary, where he went in and attempted to sexually assault someone. Sgt. Swanton said this is a great arrest since it got a potentially dangerous person off the streets.

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