Stan Nabbs knew something was wrong as soon as he turned into the right-of-way leading to his central Tauranga home.
It was about 11.30am yesterday and a suitcase was lying in the middle of the driveway and a pair of shoes which did not belong to Mr Nabbs or his partner were sitting on the balcony wall at the top of the stairs leading to the front door.
As he walked up the stairs Mr Nabbs noticed a bag on the balcony before spotting a man pushing another bag out through a smashed window.
"I saw the bags and thought 'what are they doing there?' and then I saw him and went red," Mr Nabbs said.
He started yelling at an intruder who scrambled out the broken window, threw the bags off the balcony and jumped off after them leaving his shoes on the wall.
"I gave him such a fright that he dived out the window," he said.
Mr Nabbs raced down the stairs and around into the back yard where he saw the man jump a gate and disappear around the back of the house.
As he fumbled with his phone in an attempt to ring the police Mr Nabbs saw the intruder run down the drive, grab the suitcase he had left in the right of way and take off.
The police operator told Mr Nabbs not to try to stop him but to follow and watch where he went.
Still on the phone to the police Mr Nabbs raced after him and saw him run through a property a few houses down just as the first police officer arrived.
As he pointed out where the burglar had gone a police dog handler arrived and began to pursue him.
Still standing on the street Mr Nabbs turned in time to see a man running down 16th Ave with three police officers in pursuit.
"Apparently he had jumped over quite a few fences. He's dropped the suitcase somewhere," Mr Nabbs said. "The cops were so good. The were so quick and the were on to it. They were talking me through it on their way out."
As all the action was wrapping up Mr Nabbs returned home to wait for police to collect evidence from the scene.
"I think the thing that really upsets us is your house has been violated - your sanctuary."
Nothing valuable was stolen and police later made an arrest.
Reduce your risk of being burgled:
- An alarm system is a deterrent to burglars.
- Always lock doors and windows at night.
- Lock doors even when leaving the house for a short time.
- If spending time in the garden lock the other end of the house.
- Lock sheds and garages.
- Have a trusted person look after your place while you are away.
- Join a Neighbourhood Support Group (see www.ns.org.nz - it's free).