CHICAGO (CBS) — A burglar was caught on camera breaking into a woman’s home just minutes after she left.
The man managed to get away with jewelry and other items from the South Side home. And as CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, the thief had no idea someone was asleep inside the house when he first broke in.
There was no knock at the door or ring of the doorbell, but a doorbell camera still captured video of a man coming into the Washington Heights neighborhood home early Sunday morning.
Burglary victim Delora Coaston showed Terry the door.
“He damaged the casing here and the door actually split,” she said.
The frame to Coaston’s home has since been repaired. But her sense of security remains broken.
“Everything feels surreal,” she said. “I’m very, very angry and upset.”
She is troubled by the man who was seen on that doorbell camera walking up to her front door and trying to pry it open – damaging the casing in the process.
It is believed the crook watched Coaston leave with her family as she dropped them off to the airport at 5 a.m. Sunday
“In 10 minutes, my phone dinged to let me know that the doorbell alerted motion,” she said.
But Coaston didn’t turn around, nor look at the video immediately.
“I kind of ignored, it because I thought it was our little animals that roam,” she said.
But police said once the man walked out the video’s frame, he made his way to the side of the house and kicked in the side door – unaware that Coaston’s sister was asleep inside.
“I believe he came in, saw her sleeping, and left,” Coaston said.
He left the room, but he did not leave the house.
“I’m glad, if nothing else, he left her alone and he just left her sleeping,” Coaston said.
Coaston’s sister was unaware that the crook was ransacking the house looking for cash and jewels.
Coaston moved into the Washington Heights neighborhood about four years ago.
“Keep this community the way it’s been – nice, peaceful, and quiet,” she said.
It has been three years since anyone on Coaston’s block has reported a burglary. When CBS 2 examined city crime data, it showed residential burglaries in the entire Washington Heights neighborhood were down from 126 in 2019 to 92 so far this year.
“That’s why we’re coming together now, because we’re trying to prevent that,” Coaston said.
Coaston plans to share the video with Chicago Police. At that point, they will likely issue a community alert.
Until they do, Coaston’s block and the entire neighborhood will remain on alert.