Jack Mackercher and his girlfriend, Jordan Buranskas, didn't realize that a man had been lurking around their Bucktown neighborhood home in the middle of the night until they noticed that Buranskas' purse was missing.
"We actually got into a little bit of an argument about it. He thought I left it at the restaurant the night before," Buranskas said.
Monday evening, the couple retraced their steps by scrolling through video recorded by one of Mackercher's surveillance cameras.
They rewinded to 3:30 a.m. Monday
What they saw terrified them.
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"I'm like, 'Why are you at the top of the stairs wearing a white hoodie before we went to bed?' She's like, 'I wasn't at the top of the stairs.' So that's when you go flush and start to freak out a little bit," Mackercher said.
An intruder had crept in through an unlocked door. And for several minutes, hovered over the couple, who had fallen asleep on the couch.
The suspect moved so slowly and quietly, he didn't disturb the couple's two dogs, sleeping at their feet.
"He stood there for about 5 minutes the first time then walked away, then came back and hovered over us again for another 5 minutes," Buranskas said.
The thief has been nicknamed the "Creeper Ghost," and is believed to be responsible for other neighborhood burglaries.
Some residents have posted images on social media of the suspect riding through alleys on a bike, trying to break into homes.
Mackercher is hopeful that between stepped-up police patrols and a many neighborhood cameras, the offender will be caught soon.
"If you want to come out here and steal, you're going to be on video," Mackercher said.