Andrew Pritchard, 52, from Boorowa, New South Wales, was logging in on his work lunch hour to one of his favourite webcams – in Exmouth, England, – when an intriguing vision caught his attention.
He said he was watching the Exmouth webcam because it was one of the best in the world.
Mr Pritchard, who immigrated to Australia from the UK, saw two people emerge from a car on an esplanade, approach a kiosk and attempt to open the shutters.
What concerned Mr Pritchard, an audio-visual producer, was that it was 3.30am in the morning in Britain – not the time people normally go to kiosks.
According to the BBC, the concerned Commonwealth neighbour brought up another browser window and searched for the police’s number.
“I said this is Andrew Pritchard in Australia, I’m watching a webcam and it appears two men are breaking into a kiosk,” he said.
As he watched, a police car pulled up on the footpath and two officers emerged and ran to either side of the kiosk.
Then another police car blocked off the suspects’ vehicle.
As it transpired, the suspects were merely a man and a woman having an argument.
However, Devon and Cornwall police feel reassured the eyes of the world are helping them in their quest to allay crime.
“We always rely on public spirited people to act as our eyes and ears and to report suspicious activity at the time they see it,” a spokesman for the police said.
“Needless to say, getting information from the other side of the world like this is not an everyday event.”
With the growing use of webcams, the internet is creating a web of intrigue with public places often turning into private places of surveillance.