Hawera man Kurt Smith wasn't even sure he had been burgled, until he noticed 273 deleted photos on his iCloud account.

Among the photos in the recently deleted folder were several selfies showing a man wearing dark glasses, with Smith's sleepout in the background.

That's when Smith clicked and realised his missing iPod, iPad and laptop had been stolen in a burglary two days before.

"We had been broken into last Tuesday, but we didn't realise at the time anything was missing," Smith said.


It wasn't until Smith went to use his iPod on Thursday that he realised he couldn't find it. Then he saw a whole lot of deleted photos on his iCloud account.

"Some of the selfies were in our sleepout. I could see my league jerseys in the background. He had tried to delete them, but they were still sitting in the deleted folder."

Smith's flatmate also saw several of his stolen items appear for sale online.

After discovering the selfies Smith contacted police about the burglary.

But the alleged burglar was not done yet.

On Monday, June 25, Smith came home from work about 11am to help a police officer take fingerprints.

As Smith entered his home, he felt a warm breeze.

He noticed one of the side windows had been smashed, and caught sight of a man jumping out his back window.

Smith gave chase and jumped a fence into a neighbouring paddock, but was restricted in his work boots and freezer pants.

"I chased him for about three paddocks but couldn't keep up."

About half an hour later he got a message from a friend saying he and some contractors had cornered the man and held him until police arrived.

"They recognised him because he was wearing my clothes," Smith said.

"He was wearing my Nikes and nice pants. He had his own jersey on but after they arrested him I found he was wearing my T-shirt too."

Smith found the alleged burglar had ditched his own clothes in Smith's room - including a pair of soiled Batman undies.

Shortly after, Smith discovered there had been three similar burglaries in the area.

Most of the items had been recovered, but were with police for evidence, Smith said.

He and his flatmate had insurance.

"You can't have that, go to work, go home, and find your house has been broken into. It is a shit feeling."

Police are speaking to a 16-year-old male about the burglary complaint.