When Stan Browning’s phone went off, the last thing he expected was a front-row seat to a theft taking place right on his own porch. But thanks to the surveillance system at his home near Fairview and Cole, that’s exactly what the Boise man got.
On Tuesday afternoon, Browning watched a man in an orange jersey pick up his television — which had been delivered just moments earlier — place it in the trunk of a red sedan and drive away with a woman.
“Of course, I’m in a wheelchair. It’s not like I could go run after the guy,” Browning said, adding that the experience left him feeling “very helpless.”
Browning said he immediately called Boise Police Department to report the theft and, not five hours later, police told him they had a suspect in custody.
After receiving a tip from someone who knew the suspect, Jesse Hilborn, 37, was stopped by police on a traffic stop and arrested on misdemeanor petit theft and misdemeanor failure to appear. As of Wednesday morning, he was no longer in the Ada County Jail. Police did not identify his accomplice, though Browning said he was told she was arrested as well.
Browning’s television was returned (though, he said, the package had been opened and he’s not certain if any parts are missing). He has a replacement on the way from Amazon, which he said will be delivered to a safer location.
While he called the situation “infuriating,” Browning said the theft is a bit of an anomaly.
“They looked like professionals,” he said, explaining that he had a previous notification set off by a garbage truck where the two suspects could be seen in the background “casing the joint.”
Browning said he’s grateful for his surveillance system — which his brother installed as a gift after Browning was injured in a dirtbike accident in late 2015 — and for social media. After he shared the video on his Facebook page, the footage made its way to Reddit and local Facebook groups, where several users said they recognized Hilborn and had contacted police.
“I think social media maybe caught this guy,” Browning said.