Home invasion caught on gamer’s webcam

A gamer in Arizona can thank her fellow gamers for helping save her life -- when they watched on her webcam as armed robbers stormed the young woman's house. (CNN/KPHO)
A gamer in Arizona can thank her fellow gamers for helping save her life -- when they watched on her webcam as armed robbers stormed the young woman's house. (CNN/KPHO)

TEMPE, Ariz. (CNN/KPHO) — Online video games allow players to compete and chat with friends and rivals around the world.

But a gamer in Arizona can thank her fellow gamers halfway around the world for helping save her life — when they watched on her webcam as armed robbers stormed the young woman’s house.

Those gamers halfway around the world teamed up to get police to help.

In the video with this story, you can hear one of several 911 calls that helped Tempe police make an arrest.

“By these people calling in is what really saved them, is what made our response get here very quickly,” said Tempe Police Lt. Mike Pooley.

The callers witnessed the crime, though they were halfway around the world.

Via webcam, they saw the victim – an online gamer – sitting in front of her computer when someone storms in at 5 a.m. local time.

The girl gets up, and moments later, a man with a gun walks in the room.

“You know the interesting part that again on this is that, there were — from my understanding — there were several callers from around the world that were trying to find out who, where this victim was,” said Pooley. “They were watching this whole thing occur, while she was being assaulted and the home invasion was occurring.”

Police say the first caller was in Europe and called someone they knew in the United States, who in turn called Tempe police.

Within minutes, police were on their way.

“They were going to be here a longer period of time, rather than just being there, getting what they want, and leaving,” said Pooley.

Police say the alleged burglars had plans to take the woman and her roommate to an ATM and get money from them, but their plans were foiled — thanks to virtual witnesses thousands of miles away.

Still, police were able to arrest one suspect when they got to the scene, but a second suspect managed to get away.

As for the two victims, they are said to be OK.

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