It was thanks to a motion-detector device he had set up, that snapped photos and emailed them to him.
Levent Cetiner loves computers. The senior systems administrator doesn't mind if you call him a computer geek.
"But I don't call it to myself," Cetiner joked.
The 30-year-old set up a motion-detection camera in his Chelsea apartment.
It sends real-time photos to his e-mail each time it's triggered.
He noticed signs posted in his building warning people about burglars in this area.
Cetiner took advantage of the Black Friday deals and bought that equipment but never thought he would need it.
"I was sitting here yesterday. I got this email from the motion detector. Sometimes it's a curtain moving or a shadow. So I'm like OK probably nothing," Cetiner said.
Cetiner lives on the top floor and realized it would be easy for someone to get inside using the fire escape.
"So I checked it and it was someone breaking in through the window and sitting on my couch! I'm like what do I do? I never thought that far," Cetiner said.
He lives just three blocks away so he grabbed his jacket, ran out of his office at the School of Visual Arts and called 911.
"The door was locked from the inside and I don't have the key. He was still inside so I shouted you're being recorded, leave everything, leave the apartment," Cetiner said.
Police caught the suspect as he tried to get away.
The gadget used to catch the burglar only cost $50.
Cetiner says there are dozens of options out there.
"Setting up a camera you shouldn't be afraid. Just read the instructions you probably have a computer geek friend too. Everyone has one," Cetiner said.
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