Online gamers stop armed home invasion in Arizona
The incident occurred at around 5 a.m. Monday morning as Nikki Elise of Tempe, AZ was playing a multi-player computer game, Dota 2, while broadcasting her live reactions and commentary over a webcam stream being watched by other gamers.
At one point during the broadcast, Elise took off her headphones after her boyfriend encountered commotion in another room off camera. Loud noises were quickly heard by those watching the stream, and soon a man with a gun walked in front of Elise’s broadcast.
An online eyewitness to the event quickly called the cops, and before long the authorities in Tempe were alerted and dispatched to the residence and captured one of the intruders.
"The person that made the original call was in Europe, they called someone here in the United States. That person then called the Tempe Police Department," Tempe Police Department Lieutenant Mike Pooley told a local Fox News affiliate.
"I wasn't actually there, I have a friend that streams video games online through a webcam, and I had a bunch of people tell me that someone came in with a gun, and it looks like they were robbing them," the network heard from one of the 911 callers.
Several hours later, Elise posted an update on her personal Facebook thanking her audience for being quick to call attention to the event.
“It was a very scary situation to be in - especially knowing we were not the originally intended target, and how much worse it could have been if it were not for our friends from around the world who acted quickly to get the police involved,” she wrote.
According to the Facebook post, the intruders kicked down Elise’s door and demanded drugs and guns from her and her boyfriend.
“They had us face down on the floor and took our belongings (bank cards, phones, jewelry, laptop, etc),” she wrote.
“Sometimes, the risk of having such a public, out there life creates various speculations and theories and opinions, too much and sometimes too painful to address individually, but on the bright side, I don't know where I would be if I wasn't doing what I was doing to have you come to our aid when the people who lived much closer were not able to do the same. I can not [sic] thank you all enough,” she said.
Tempe police arrested 27-year-old Edgardo Martinez while at Elise’s residence, and were last reported to be searching for his accomplice. She said she has also supplied authorities with the serial numbers for guns stolen during the robbery, which she claims were legally purchased in California.