A man broke into a Carrollton home on Tuesday and tried to secretly install hidden cameras to spy on his former wife and her current boyfriend, police said.
But his plan went awry when his former wife’s boyfriend returned home as he was installing the devices, said Carrollton police officer Dustin Bartram.
Pete Cuellar said he noticed a strange bag in his hallway and heard an intruder in a back room when he returned home at about noon from running errands.
"I yelled. I said, 'Who's in there?'” Cuellar said. “It got real quiet. I said, 'I'll be back in a minute.' And that's when I went out and started calling 911."
Officers arrived and arrested James Hebison, 51, of New Mexico, who was still inside Cuellar’s house.
Cuellar identified Hebison as his girlfriend’s former husband. He said they divorced about three years ago.
Police found a small video camera, a wireless transmitter and a laptop computer inside the closet in which Hebison had been hiding.
Cuellar said he later found a camera taped under a table in his bedroom. It was aimed at his bed.
A second camera was hidden near a television in his living room and was pointing at his couch, he said.
Cuellar, a freelance photographer, said the incident left him angry and unable to sleep.
Asked if he thought the crime was a little creepy, Cuellar said, “Sort of creepy? Are you crazy? It's beyond creepy!"
Hebison injured his arm when he refused to come out of the house and officers had to send in a police dog, Bartram said.
He was taken to a hospital and later released without police knowing. He was arrested again when an officer spotted him walking along a street, police said.
Hebison is charged with burglary with intent to commit a felony -- improper photography or visual recording.
Wireless cameras are relatively inexpensive and available in many electronics stores, but police said few such crimes are reported.
“This type of activity is highly unusual and isn’t something we typically see,” Bartram said.
Just last month, police in Fort Worth found a hidden camera in a portable toilet at a soccer field.