SAN DIEGO (KGTV/CNN) - A California man was left feeling helpless on Christmas Eve when he says he saw a man break into his house while visiting family across the country and police couldn’t help him.
Hoping to check in on a flower he’d received as a gift from a client, Tyler Luna set up surveillance cameras and placed the present in a nearby window before leaving to visit family in Mississippi. He decided to check on the flower Monday.
"So, I was on my dad's front porch in Mississippi, and I was like, 'Oh, let’s see if that flower bloomed. You know, it's supposed to bloom on Christmas. It's Christmas Eve. Let's check it,’” Luna said.
After opening the app on his phone, Luna saw the flower but also a strange man, allegedly a thief, inside his California home.
“‘Uh oh, what's going on? Look at this guy,’” Luna recalled. "Your heart sinks, and it’s like, ‘What's happening?’”
Luna immediately ran inside and, in his panic, called 911, but Mississippi dispatchers told him they couldn’t help. He flew home Christmas night and met with police in San Diego immediately to file a report.
When he went home, Luna found his class ring missing, his watch drawer empty and some valuables in his nightstand all gone.
"Taking sentimental items from my house is just – I don't know the word for it – heart-wrenching, gut-wrenching,” Luna said.
Having seen the suspect in his home, Luna is left wondering if it’s happened before. He says he feels violated and unsafe, especially since he believes the man entered via the second floor balcony.
"There's a stranger in my house. Has he come in before? Has he come in while I was sleeping and I just didn't hear him?” he said. "I don't feel safe anymore. I don't feel secure."
Now, Luna is hoping someone will recognize the suspect and turn him in to police.
"I feel bad for the guy for not having family that wants to bring him in on Christmas Eve. Who knows? Everybody has their own challenges in life, but it’s not an excuse to steal from someone,” he said.