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Brighton burglary victim tracks down suspect after 3 days and calls police

The building owner studied surveillance tape and then scoured Brighton for the suspect.

BRIGHTON, Colo. — A burglary unfolded in real time on a surveillance camera for building owner Mike Teater. He said the man was casing his office on Friday.

He then showed surveillance video of a man lurking around his building before going in and trying to get into locked offices. A few days later, Teater said, the man came back and broke into his office while Teater watched on surveillance cameras from his home.

"I was watching this happen live and I was on the phone with police while he was doing this," Teater said. "When I was watching him do this right here, I was furious."

The video shows a man going through cabinets and rifling through desks until it appears that he found what he was looking for.

"He took all of our checks," Teater said.

Teater said the man escaped before he and police arrived at his building. He spent the rest of the day driving around town looking for the suspect.

"That's when I made up my mind that I'm gonna find this guy," Teater said. "There's over 40,000 people in this town, but I am going to find him."

So, Teater studied the videotape, memorized the burglar's tattoos, and went searching for him in areas around Brighton often frequented by the homeless.

"The police were helping, you know, they were very helpful," Teater said. "But, I just, I didn't want him to get away with it and I didn't want him to do it to somebody else either."

He hiked for miles up and down the river banks, too.

"I looked for him all day Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and on Wednesday, I found him on Wednesday," Teater said. "So, I stopped my truck and I rolled down my window and I asked him if he needs any help because he's a homeless guy and he looked right at me and he said, 'No.' And, when he did that, I saw that tattoo on his neck and I knew for sure it was him. And, so, I said, 'Well, have a great day,' and I drove away."

Teater said he called some friends to help him keep track of the suspect. When they spotted him at a fast food restaurant, Teater called the police. After a brief pursuit, the man was arrested.

"In his pocket, he had my checks that he had stolen with my business names on them," Teater said.

Teater said he was never going to confront the man aggressively to be safe and he always planned on having police handle the capture. Now, he needs to find something else to focus on.

"I got kinda bored because I don't have anything to do," Teater said while laughing. "I've been looking for this guy for 3-and-a-half days. It's kinda like, now what?"

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