Crime Trackers

Mar 7, 2014 9:36 PM by Lupita Murillo

Homeowner uses hi tech device to find some of his stolen electronics

TUCSON- A Tucson family is burglarized, they are wiped clean of electronics, jewelry, and their sense of security. It happened last week.

An app on the iPad alerted them where it was.

Matt, who asked his last name be given tells News 4 Tucson Crime Trackers, "You go to work to provide for your family and you come home and someone cleans you out."

Besides the electronics that were taken, so was his wedding ring.

"Our 11th wedding anniversary is next month so all the things that I had been buying her over the years are gone."

He had a GPS app on all of his apple products. He immediately secured its contents so it was unusable. Later that evening he received an email telling him the iPad had been found. It gave him the address.

He called 911, and met deputies and showed him his phone where the iPad was. The deputies went up to the house and asked the homeowner if there were stolen items inside the house. The homeowner said no.

For the moment that's all deputies could do because the homeowner wouldn't give them permission to search his house. The deputy told him, "GPS isn't recognized in the court system as a legitimate to issue a search warrant."

Matt doesn't take no. So he goes to the homeowner and demands his property back and shows him on his cell phone the blue dot where his iPad is located. The homeowner agrees to let Matt search the back yard, but not the deputies. As Matt explains to the deputies what he's about to do, "I look down at my phone and I see my GPS move. It moves from inside the house to the backyard."

He says a women let him through the gate, it's pitch black, he doesn't have flashlight, he's following the GPS and then his phone dies, he loses the signal. "I told her that I was not going to stop and I wanted my property back."

The next day he gets a call from the woman and says she found his iPad in the back yard. And doesn't know how it got there. Matt gets his property and calls 911.

Pima County Sheriff's burglary detectives showed up, and were able to get a search warrant to look through the house.

Sgt. Pat Hilliker says they didn't find any of the victim's stolen property .

Detectives continue their investigation by going out to the neighborhood where the burglary took place. After interviewing neighbors they say a white van had been the neighborhood prior to the burglary going door to door asking for donations. Sgt. Hilliker says, "These burglars and thieves will come around the morning ring on the doorbell, if nobody answers they hop the fence go around back and try and break in."

He commends Matt for calling 911 when he received notice of his iPad being found. "You don't know who you are going to be dealing with. And we wouldn't want the public in any unnecessary danger . That's what we do that's why we're here so we're here to serve the public so if they do find that call us first."

He also says GPS systems aren't always accurate.

As for Matt, he's not going to quit. "It's a huge violation of your life. It's not right, it's wrong. You shouldn't roll over to criminals."

The burglary unit is following up on leads, and continues their investigation. Sgt. Hilliker says they will do their best as they do in all cases to get the victim's property returned and the people responsible behind bars.

Also he urges everyone to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity in the neighborhood and to call 911.


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