An iPhone was stolen out of Joe Harris’ car last month and the alleged thief’s selfies helped police apprehend the teen suspect.
“They took some change, took some Christmas presents, took my old iPhone along with the car charger and that’s when I realized my car was broken into,” Harris, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, told WTKR. He accepted that his phone was long gone and didn’t call the police until he noticed some photos he didn’t recognize on his iCloud account.
“Last night we were going through our phone, my kids saw some old pictures on there that had appeared to be taken on May 30 and May 31,” he said.
Photos taken from Harris’ missing iPhone appeared on his child’s iPad, because Apple’s iCloud feature can automatically sync all photos from one device to another. “I was very surprised that they didn’t realize it. Actually I didn’t realize that the iPhone was synced up,” Harris said. “I was shocked to see that they had taken 30 something selfies of themselves.”
Now a 16-year-old boy is in custody and is expected to be charged with the theft, thanks to his selfies. “I feel sorry for him,” Harris told WTKR in a separate interview. “Without your help, he probably wouldn’t have been seen.”
Within hours of the story about Harris’s stolen iPhone being broadcast around Virginia Beach, police began receiving tips.
“The broadcast helped by getting the pictures out there,” said Virginia Beach Detective Christopher Lazar. “One anonymous tip gave us a Facebook account and a Facebook name, then we had tips from another agency that confirmed this gentleman was our suspect.”
Harris said he was excited by the arrest. “It’s not just about a cellphone. The cell phone was worth only $50 or $100. It’s just going into other people’s property, it’s personal.”
The teen could be charged in a few weeks.
Screenshot via WTKR