IRVINE, Calif. - Irvine police are asking for the public's help in identifying a man caught on camera burglarizing an Orange County home before being discovered by a 4-year-old boy and the child's nanny.
In the unnerving surveillance video, the burglar rummages through a purse inside the Irvine house before he moves to another room.
Just three minutes later, a 4-year-old walks inside, realizes something is wrong and walks back toward his babysitter, who just saw the burglar. She grabs the child and they run to safety.
"The fact that they were home and he was inside the home was the scariest thing to me," said homeowner Jonathan Lai.
Lai was not home during the crime, but his cameras captured everything.
Before being interrupted, the burglar moved through the empty house, looking for valuables. Lai doesn't think he was working alone.
"He was on his cellphone the entire time. From the time he came into the backyard, all the way into the house, all the way up into our room and back down, he was on his phone," he said.
Lai said the man tried to break the latch on a window, then shattered a sliding glass door to get inside in the middle of the day.
The suspect was on the stairs when the babysitter and Lai's son came home.
"The intruder (was) screaming something, she said, barreling down, then went through her, out the garage and down the street," Lai explained.
Irvine police said the suspect, described as an African-American man between 18 and 25 years old and weighing about 170 pounds, was carrying a backpack with blue and white polka dots.
"(He) tore down my whole sense of security that I had in my own home and then knowing that this is vulnerable, and so (I feel) very, very violated," Lai added.
Anyone with information about the suspect was asked to call Irvine police at (949) 724-7170.