A man from Australia was on the line saying he was witnessing a break-in on the seafront at Exmouth - more than 12,000 miles away.
Andrew Pritchard was surfing the Internet at his home and watching the webcams trained on the seafront.
When he witnessed what he thought was a break-in at a kiosk he decided to phone the control room.
Police officers were dispatched to the scene, but found it was a domestic incident between two people and no crime had been committed.
Sergeant Alan Mobbs, a spokesman for the force, welcomed the phone call. He said: "He saw something that he thought was suspicious and it is behaviour we are encouraging people to ring us for.
"Exmouth has its own website www.exmouthcam.co.uk. It is a private company not run by the police or council. He was browsing the site and reported what he saw."
Mr Pritchard said he logged on to the site because it gave live coverage instead of a series of still images updated every few seconds.
Broadband technology had only been introduced to his rural home at Boorowa, New South Wales, last week and he was still experimenting with it when he spotted a car pull up near the beachfront kiosk and two people get out.
He used the Internet to find the number of local police and dialled the control room to report what he had seen.
Mr Pritchard said: "It was dark and raining and I was just about to log off when I saw a car come along and pull over. Two guys got out and ran toward the kiosk and it looked as if they were trying out the shutters.
"It looked pretty much like a robbery to me, so I did a search on Exmouth police and came up with a phone number."
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