Melissa Rodrigues’ three-year-old son woke three nights in a row last week at his home near Wellington in New Zealand complaining of ‘a man with a light’ outside his window, stuff.co.nz reports.
She put it down to his vivid imagination until he let out a ‘gut-wrenching scream’ from his bedroom at 5.30am last Friday.
‘I knew something wasn’t right,’ Ms Rodrigues said.
Her son pointed out where the man had been and her husband noticed footprints in the frost and their garden gate open.
They notified police and set up a surveillance app called Salient Eye on their smartphone, which would capture images if it sensed any motion.
Ms Rodrigues sent her son to his grandmother’s house and stayed awake all night with her husband in case the intruder returned.
At 4.40am the app started taking photos showing someone was outside reaching over their porch.
Police arrived and searched the backyard as images were still being taken on the app.
‘We were sitting in the house watching it all through the app. It was brilliant,’ Ms Rodrigues said.
‘I was talking to the police saying ‘OK, someone’s just run across our backyard,’ then telling them, ‘Oh, sorry, it’s just your policeman’.’
Police managed to track down a teenage boy who was known to authorities for stealing cigarette butts.