WICHITA, Kan. -- Up early in the morning Friday, Matt Conard checked again.
Ever since his computer was stolen in a major break-in at his office building 48 hours before, he had prayed someone would turn it on. That's because he has a system he pays for that allows him to operate that office computer remotely on so he can work from home.
His prayers were answered that Friday morning.
"I got out of bed and saw that my computer was online. I rushed in and then gained (remote) access to that computer that was stolen," Conard said.
He turned on the computer's web cam and up popped a live image of the man using his computer.
"He was just lounged on the couch. He was making himself at home on my computer," Conard said. "So, I started taking pictures of what I was seeing. It was an exhilarating moment."
He had just a couple seconds to gather evidence before the suspect realized he was on candid camera. He noticed Conard was now controlling the cursor.
"He went into panic mode and lunged for the computer to cover and unplug it," Conard said.
But it was too late for the suspect. Conard had already been able to snap some mug shots.
The man in the pictures could be involved in stealing Conard's computer and $50,000 worth of other items last Wednesday from three businesses in a building on S. Laura St. Police say the break-in occurred early in the morning around 4 a.m. February 19th.
"We don't know what his involvement was but that's one step closer to finding the burglars and maybe recovering equipment for us and our neighbors," Conard said.
One of those neighbors down the hallway, Artistic Polish and Design, took a $30,000 hit in the break-in. Thieves stole computers, equipment, paperwork and many of the company's files.
"They pretty much left us with a couple chairs and a desk," project manager Jose Gonzalez said.
Thieves also tore through the Kansas Construction News Report office. Those in the office say it appears they got into every office drawer.
"They touched everything," Laura Robben said. "It's just such an invasion."
The break-in has brought their businesses to a halt as they try to recover files and install new security systems.
But Robben and Gonzalez say they have hope they'll find who's responsible for the break-in thanks to Conard's high-tech, quick thinking.
"When Matt got that picture, this whole building was besides themselves!" Robben said.
The excitement over getting the picture also remains high for Conard.
"I'm sure that I would not be cut out for criminal investigation but that part was a lot of fun," Conard said.
If you recognize the man in the photographs, please contact Det. Varnell at (316) 268-4317.