MARTINEZ (KPIX 5) – A Martinez man talked to KPIX 5 about his terrifying experience during a recent European business trip when he spotted a prowler outside his home on a security camera while his family was asleep inside.

Stephen Maris has used to his surveillance cameras capturing wildlife around his Martinez home. But this was a first.

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He received an alert from the security camera system when he was thousands of miles from his home on Reliez Valley Road.

It was 4 a.m. in Martinez and 1 p.m. in Germany. The motion detector on the surveillance camera turned the device on and sent a text alert to Maris on his phone.

He was able to see someone lurking around the outside of his home on his cell phone.

“Yeah, he went right up to the door there, looking to see if anyone was around, if anyone awake,” explained Maris.

The man’s presence outside his home as his wife and children slept inside wasn’t all that worried Maris.

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“Here you will see his knife hanging in his pants,” said Maris.

When he saw the intruder, he leaped into action.

“When I did look at it I knew I had to immediately do something,” said Maris. “I was freaking out.”

He immediately called Martinez police who responded to the scene quickly.

“So I called right away and they said they would have an officer immediately. And then I was on live giving her description of person I saw in video,” said Maris.

While the suspect was able to make off with a chainsaw worth about $450, Maris was relieved when police arrived and determined his family was safe.

Maris put the video out on social media and learned the intruder has been spotted on other surveillance cameras in the area.

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So far, the suspect has not been caught. Martinez police are asking anyone who has any information about the intruder to contact authorities.

Juliette Goodrich