App helped prevent burglary, catch suspect in Cowlitz County

A homeowner used an app to alert police about a burglary.

CASTLE ROCK, Wash. -- An app on a Cowlitz County man’s smartphone helped bust a would-be burglar at his Castle Rock home on Wednesday. 

Austin Kohler was working in Longview when the app, called Hubble, sent him a notification. The app was linked to a trio of security cameras at Kohler’s home.

In this case, a man attempting to enter his home through a sliding glass door triggered a motion sensor, prompting the alert to Kohler’s phone.

“I was outraged,” said Kohler when he pulled up the security camera app and saw the burglar. Kohler installed the cameras nine months ago after his truck was stolen from his home. After spotting the burglar on the video feed, Kohler took a screen shot and called police.

Cowlitz County Deputies and Castle Rock Police were on scene within seven minutes, according to the Sheriff’s Office. As authorities surrounded the home, they noticed that the burglar had entered the house through a bedroom window. Officers heard movement inside, too. 

Once Kohler arrived on scene, he assisted police examine the home and confirmed that some of his firearms were misplaced by looking through a window.

“I was able to see that he had taken some guns out of my gun cabinet,” Kohler said. At one point, police used the Hubble app on Kohler’s phone to look at one of his interior security cameras.

A SWAT team eventually responded and found the suspect hiding in a closet inside the home. The man, identified as 31-year-old Robert J. Depriest, had picked up a rifle, a loaded revolver, and several knives, according to the Sheriff’s Office. He was arrested and charged with first-degree burglary along with an outstanding warrant out of Castle Rock.

Kohler says he’s thankful he not only installed the security cameras, but set up the smartphone app, too. “If I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t have known until I got home after I got off work. He would have been long gone and I’m sure some of the guns would have been gone with him,” Kohler said.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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