By danny restivo
Bryan Singleton had no idea how quickly a hidden camera placed in his kitchen would yield results.
“It was a shocker,” he said. “I was stunned.”
One day after setting up a real-time camera in hopes of catching a suspected burglar, Singleton watched from his work computer as a man identified as Shaun X. Cook, 26, of Hubbard, broke into his home and began rummaging through his personal belongings.
“I’m sitting there, and this guy is coming through the door, and I’m saying ‘I can’t believe this,’” he said.
Singelton said he bought the camera over the weekend after he began noticing money missing Oct. 24. He initially thought he misplaced it, until more cash came up missing Friday. He said there were no signs of forced entry into his Water Street home, but he still felt someone was entering his residence.
“I knew someone was entering the house,” he said. “I kept telling my wife, ‘He’s going to come back, and we’re going to catch him in the act.’”
At 11 a.m. Monday, Singleton was at work in his office in Girard when he decided to check the images from his newly installed camera. He said he clicked on the link and saw close-up images of Cook going through his home. Singleton said he called 911 and gave the dispatcher a “play-by-play” account of the burglary.
Singleton said the dispatcher relayed his information to police as he watched Cook frantically look for a hiding spot from officers. About 11:45 a.m., police found the burglar hiding in an upstairs crawl space.
Cook, who was on bail, is facing another burglary charge along with receiving stolen property and possession of drug-abuse instruments after he was arrested in Hubbard on Sept. 18. He also is facing a misdemeanor weapons charge from an Oct. 2 incident in Boardman.
After Monday’s incident, Cook was arraigned on burglary charges in Girard Municipal Court on Tuesday. He was bound over to Trumbull County Common Pleas Court; his bond was set at $25,000. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday. He is being held at the Trumbull County Jail.
Singleton is pleased with catching the man he believes stole his money. He does advocate the camera, however, for anyone looking to monitor their home.
“It was an inexpensive investment, and I think it would work well with a lot of people,” he said. “It really wasn’t hard to set-up.”