Israeli App Catches New Zealand Burglar

Free Israeli app turning old cell phones into motion-sensor alarms helps New Zealand couple nab serial thief without endangering themselves.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Smartphone apps  (illustration)
Smartphone apps (illustration)

Israel's hi-tech industry has long been praised in the world, but one New Zealander recently had a harrowing first-hand experience in which she learned how Israeli ingenuity can save one's belongings - and even save one's life.

Melissa Rodrigues of Wellington, New Zealand, was skeptical after her three-year-old son said he had heard an intruder trying to break into the family home. The second time it happened he found proof to show her, in the form of footprints left in the mud by the thief.

Rodrigues and her husband then turned to Salient Eye, a free Israeli cell phone application that turns old smartphones into a camera and motion detector alarm system.

The app caught the thief trying to break in and notified Melissa with an email alert, at which point she called the police. In a manhunt consisting of five police cars the police tracking dog lost the burglar's scent, but pictures captured by Salient Eye gave enough details to identify the man, who turned out to be a neighbor living a few houses away.

After being caught by police thanks to the Israeli app, the man confessed to stealing tools from the Rodrigues family, as well as stealing from other neighbors as well.

"The support this app gave us was absolutely fantastic," said Rodrigues. "It meant we didn't have to put ourselves in harm’s way to look for him, and with the email alert we were on the phone to the police in literally seconds!"

The ingenious app turns cameras on old cell phones into motion-sensitive alarms that can send immediate notifications, and the app requires no payment or registration.

Rodrigues found the app online, and noted, "having no money to be able to buy a ‘proper’ system, I stumbled across the app, which allowed me to have a free, immediately available security setup. The app literally helped our whole community."

Haggai Meltzer, founder and CEO of Salient Eye, revealed that his brainstorm to invent the app came after he had himself been robbed.

"I had a drawer full of old smartphones. They were too old for the thief to take an interest, but not too old for me to figure out a better way to use them," he recalled.