Burglary video leads police to arrest high school student
RALEIGH, Jan 04, 2013 (The News & Observer (Raleigh - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A 17-year-old Broughton High School student is facing charges of second-degree burglary and larceny because police say they believe he is one of three men who over a half-million people have seen breaking into a Maywood Avenue home in a home-surveillance video posted on YouTube.
Thursday night, police arrested Qushawn Dy'antay Newsome at his 405 Starrett Court home. (This article continues below the video.)
He told them he is a Broughton student, according to their online arrest report, and Wake County public schools officials confirmed his enrollment.
Detectives were still looking Friday for the others involved.
The information that led police to Newsome did not result from the worldwide posting of the video, police spokesman Jim Sughrue said, but, "It played role."
Detectives were able to capture still photos from frames of the video and distributed those internally, Sughrue said.
"The tip did not come from the public," he said, but the picture helped an officer start an investigation that led to Newsome, who was released on a $30,000 bond after his arrest.
Matthew and Elizabeth Robinson were traveling when they had the chilling experience of watching three men kick in a door to their house and roam about looking for items to steal on Dec. 29.
The thieves eventually spotted a camera in the living room and then found a video recorder and monitor that showed them images of themselves.
They cut a cable to stop the recording and poured bleach on the recorder and monitor in hopes of wiping out the evidence, Robinson said.
However, Robinson said, "The hard drive was there," and he was able to post the five-minute, forty-seven second video that, as of Friday morning, had over 536,000 hits online.
"We like to travel, and we don't like having that cloud hanging over us," he said.
Robinson said he "did some kind of work" to replace equipment and restore some connections, and he is "glad I could help" police with the video, but the uncomfortable feeling of knowing his home was invaded remains.
An arrest warrant that police got for Newsome lists an Xbox 360 and controllers, a Wii game box and controllers, some television equipment and money among the items taken.
Police did not say if any of those have been recovered.
"The case remains under investigation," Sughrue said.
The thieves in the video were wary.
They looked around a back door, then went to the front porch of the house and rang the bell several times to establish that no one would answer.
Then, they returned to the back, and one kicked open a wooden door while another held a storm door open for him.
The video that Robinson posted shows the entry from both directions, with the doorframe splitting as the force hit it.
Once inside, they checked several times for activity, lifting a living room curtain to peek outside.
One of the thieves seemed more aware of leaving evidence than others did. He kept the ends of his jacket sleeves pulled over his hands as he opened drawers and handled items he found.
It apparently was a Christmas tree that tipped off the thieves to the recording, Robinson said.
The lights on the tree are controlled by a clapping-type switch, and something that the burglars did made a noise that lit the tree.
That made them look around, and they noticed the camera mounted near the ceiling.
The burglary was, Robinson noted, the second time they got video to watch, though the other was not nearly as nerve-wracking.
"The only other interesting thing we saw was the earthquake last year," he said.
Their dog, which was with them when the break-in happened, demonstrated that animals can sense earthquakes before human.
She clearly was nervous, running around the room, then, "The camera in the living room shook. She barked and half ran away" as the temblor moved the house," Robinson said.
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