Police surrounded a home in Palo Alto Monday evening after a woman said she spotted strangers inside her home using a security app on her smartphone.
But after hours of a tense standoff, police didn't find anyone inside, realizing - finally - that her app showed a recording of the intrusion, not a live feed.
Still, there apparently were two strangers inside the home on Ames Avenue at some point, according to Lt. Zach Perron. It's just that when the SWAT teams arrived circling the home in the upscale city, the intruders were long gone.
The scene was unusual and scary for Palo Alto residents who witnessed officers swarming the home at 6:30 p.m. on Monday after a woman returned home to find signs of forced entry.
The woman, using a security system on her smart phone, was able to see two people she did not recognize inside of her home. She then contacted police.
Officers responded to the scene and immediately surrounded the home, thinking the suspects were still inside. Residents in a roughly one-block area near the scene of the burglary were asked to shelter-in-place.
Just after 10:20 p.m., police called in crisis negotiators and a SWAT team to respond to the scene. Sunnyvale and Stanford police were also assisting in the investigation.
But after a search inside and outside the home, police were not able to find any intruders and the standoff was called off just before midnight.
Perron told NBC Bay Area that neither the woman nor police realized that her smartphone app showed a recording of the intrusion, and that it wasn't happening in real time.
Police are still looking for the suspects who broke into her home.
Bay City News contributed to this report.