HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Martin Molden thought he would never see his belongings again.
Until, a cell phone and Facebook came into the picture.
"I just panicked. I had to run and go get her," said Molden, a second year grad student at Hawaii Pacific University.
It was noon on Monday when he left his backpack unattended at Fort Street Mall downtown Honolulu for ten minutes.
"I kinda ran up again. But then the backpack was gone," he said.
He thought his school books, notes, cash, credit cards and ID were gone forever. Until, someone showed him their cell phone.
"There was like a guy sitting over there that had taken a picture of the girl taking my backpack. But she said it was for a friend, so they didn't stop her," Molden said.
Molden was shown a crystal clear photo of the perpetrator caught in the act. He immediately posted it to his Facebook page and it has been shared on social media hundreds of times since.
However, that bystander's camera wasn't the only one rolling at the time.
“This is actually a remote footage of our surveillance cameras," said Aaron Fong, owner of a neighboring restaurant.
You can see her in the left corner of the frame walk up to the empty table, casually swing the backpack over her shoulder and calmly walk away.
"Yeah, it was like expert," Fong said.
Fong says it's not unusual for thefts to happen in the area and this isn't the first time his cameras came in handy.
"Basically our surveillance cameras are for our store. But it catches a good angle so I guess it catches this whole area. So even though they were next door, I was able to catch the whole thing on footage,” he said.
The Honolulu Police Department is investigating the theft. So far no arrests have been made.
As for Molden, he says, lesson learned.