"She shows up at her property and sees an SUV that she's not familiar with parked there," said deputy Tom Peine. "Actually, it was a pickup truck."
That's not all that caught her eye.
"She also sees a male come out of her backyard. He throws a pillowcase he was carrying into the bed of the pickup truck, into the bed of the car, and takes off," he said.
That homeowner, who was too shaken up to go on camera, was composed enough at the time to take down a description of the truck and call 911.
Peine calls that a crucial move.
"It's very, very helpful if you know the type of vehicle, the color," he said. "If people can make it out, and if they're sure about the make and model, that's obviously a big help."
Even better: other details, especially a license plate number.
So, if you were trying to give a description of one of our news vehicles, you would describe it as:
-a white Ford Explorer SUV
-license plate CF01027
As that vehicle drives away, those details can be tough to pin-point, but authorities say often they are the key to making sure that criminal lands behind bars.
That was certainly key in this case.
Within minutes, deputies tracked down and arrested 33 year-old Mason.
He had an outstanding warrant, and faces a list of charges, including 2nd degree burglary.
Deputy Peine hopes it serves as a lesson.
"Don't approach the people that you observe. Be a good witness," he said. "Stay on the phone once you have 911 on the phone, and relay as much as you can."
Advice authorities hope will keep you safe, if and when you find your home isn't so lucky.