5 Stupid Criminals Foiled by Smart Technology
These thieves have their head in the cloud—literally.
By Damon Beres from Reader's Digest Magazine | September 2013
Illustration by Edwin Fotheringham
Fooled by Find My iPhone
When a shop clerk in New York City was robbed at gunpoint for her iPhone early last year, a nearby officer knew to spring into action with his own phone. Using the Find My iPhone app, he entered the victim’s Apple ID and located the missing mobile in seconds. Wasting no time, he drove over and immediately caught the perp—who’d stashed the pricey device in his sock.
Original Photo by John.Karakatsanis via Flickr
Snagged by Selfies
Shortly after a victim noticed her iPad had been lifted while she was shopping at a Southern California Costco, she spent some time scrolling through photos on her phone. Lo and behold, snapshots of the alleged thieves were popping up on her iCloud account thanks to the iPad’s auto-upload feature. Police released the self-styled mug shots, and the tablet was quickly returned. Maybe the thieves should try Snapchat next time?
Original Photo by mikecogh via Flickr
ID’d by Instagram
Nathaniel Troy Maye, 44, and Tiwanna Tenise Thomason, 40, were wanted for identity theft and were caught thanks to some boneheaded social networking. While out for a fancy steak dinner, the couple snapped an Instagram pic and tagged the location. The picture was used in court to help identify the two, who face up to 12 years behind bars. Hashtag #lastmeal?
Selling a Steal on eBay
eBay makes selling old junk a snap, but one thief in the Chicago suburbs quickly found that it’s not the best place to unload stolen bikes. One victim hopped onto the online auction house after his bike went missing, noticed that it was for sale, and notified police. Detectives won the auction and arrested the suspect upon delivery.
Original Photo by vernieman via Flickr
BlackBerry Devices Protect Themselves… Sort of
A mugger recently targeted students near Columbia University in New York City, nabbing their high-end mobiles at gunpoint. But when one student tried to hand over a BlackBerry, the thief turned up his nose. Reportedly telling the victim “I want iPhones,” the mugger handed back the device and let him be.