Fort Lauderdale Police said they arrested two burglary suspects after a man saw them "rummaging through his house" on live surveillance footage on his cell phone.
The house at 420 SW 18th Avenue had been tented for fumigation, and the owner, who was staying elsewhere, checked up on his house through an online surveillance camera system when he had trouble sleeping. When he saw the break-in happening during the early-morning hours on Wednesday he called police, they said.
Officers were unable to get inside the house because toxic gases were being pumped into it, but the suspects were caught as they made their way to a swap shop and were found with pieces of jewelry that belonged to one of the victims, police said.
Police said they arrested and charged Jamarion Lee, 17, and Darrin Green, 20, with the residential burglary. They also arrested another occupant in their vehicle, Demar Hylton, 19, on unrelated warrants for robbery, assault on a law enforcement officer/firefighter, and possession of an illegal weapon, police added.
Next-door neighbor Marlys Cooper said she considered the area a good neighborhood that was quickly going downhill.
"It has become targeted. Now it's like you have to make sure every little thing is locked up. You have to make sure, and especially me," she told NBC 6.
The fumigation tent covering the house was removed earlier Wednesday morning by exterminator crews who said no one is allowed inside the home until the poisonous gases clear out.
Tom Torrino of Bestec Exterminators says that someone breaking into a house that is being tented has to be very desperate.
If your home is being tented, he advises, "You either hire a security guard for the two days the tent is going to be up, (but) alert your neighbors that it's going to be up and to keep an eye on the house, and alert the local police department so they can have a car go by."
Fort Lauderdale Police said they do make a point of coming by a home when it's being tented. Despite the danger from fumes, such homes are targets, police said.
Police asked anyone with more information on the burglary to call Detective Joseph Hannold at 954-828-5459.