Tuesday, September 18, 2012

iPhone found

Reading reports yesterday, I came across Case Number B2-089570, a theft report. The victim is a delivery driver, and had left his iPhone in a hidden spot on his motor scooter, while he made a quick ground floor delivery downtown at 14th and O Streets. In the few moments it was out of his sight, the phone was stolen. He went back into the business, logged onto iCloud, and used Find My iPhone to determine the location of his phone: at about 1st and O Street.

The victim enlisted help from a friend, and the two went on the hunt, tracking the iPhone further west, to a wooded area just north of the Westgate Industrial Park. There, they encountered a hobo camp, and summoned the police. The investigating officers contacted a transient returning to the camp, and found the iPhone's case in his knapsack. The victim subsequently found the iPhone discarded in the brush nearby. Find My iPhone put the victim and officers in the right neighborhood to make the recovery and arrest. This is a scenario that plays out every day in the USA.

For as long as I've been around, and probably sixty years before, the wooded areas near Salt Creek, Oak Creek, and Middle Creek west of downtown have been dotted with these camps. It's not Madison, though, so there's no electricity. You'd have to make your way to an outlet elsewhere when the battery poops out. I'm glad the victim got his phone back, and the thief got a night of stainless steel indoor plumbing.


By the way, this is the same area where a murder occurred several years ago.   Alfredo Estrada was found deceased on April 17, 1996.  Some excellent investigation led to two other transients who had been with Estrada around the time of his demise. As the investigation continued to unfold in the summer of 1998, more than two years after Estrada was killed, Vincent Janis was charged with manslaughter and a warrant was issued for his arrest.  Janis was located in South Dakota, but died of natural causes before he could be tried.

14 comments:

Steve said...

Seems like night with stainless steel plumbing is more of a reward for a hobo than a deterrent. Still, it's nice the other guy got his phone back. With some form of computer in so many products these days, I'd be surprised if more of them don't start incorporating anti-theft devices. I know some autos can be tracked, but how about expensive TVs, and other electronic devices? Unfortunately, technology seems to open as many new avenues to thieves as it closes.

Anonymous said...

Here's a tip on preventing your phone (or any other small item) from being stolen - carry it with you. Don't leave it on a table, in your vehicle, or anywhere else. Two words: BELT POUCH. Yeah, tracking and recovering is cool, but not nearly as cool as not making it a soft target in the first place.

Benjamin Mailand said...

I'm the guy who had his phone stolen/retrieved. if you're interested here's a link to my Facebook post of the night's events. http://www.facebook.com/genuinefire/posts/10151106765558439 Don't worry, it's clean. And thanks again to officer D. Lopez. and the other two officers who were all very professional, kind, and helpful that night!

Steve said...

I would have brought two friends along: Smith and Wesson.

Tom Casady said...

Ben,

That's quite a story! Hope your iPhone isn't too much worse for the wear. Oh, I updated the post with a little bit of information about the murder of Alfredo Estrada, near the location your phone was recovered. I wouldn't tell your wife about that part.

Anonymous said...

Director,
Your mention of the murder near that location got me to wondering about Cold Cases from Lincoln since I moved here in the late 1960's. I know there are several unsolved murders and missing persons that are still waiting for closure. It wasn't here in Lincoln but the Johnny Gosch and (?) Martin cases have always weighed heavy on my mind. Any updates you have would be appreciated.
Gun Nut

ARRRRG!!!! said...

That Find My iPhone app is way better than my new app.

Steve said...

Arrrrg!!!!

I'm sorry, but I couldn't find "squiffy" in my dictionary. Perhaps it's in the pirate encylopedia, but I don't have a copy. Perhaps you could indulge us with a definition.

ARRRRG!!!! said...

Squiffy

ARRRRG!!!! said...

September 19th should be a national holiday.

Tom Casady said...

Gun Nut,

Not tracking what cases you are referring too. Johnny Gosch, who disappeared in Des Moines in 1982? No known Lincoln connection. Martin? Maybe Tammy Legenza Martin, who was killed in 1993 here in Lincoln? Clifford Davlin was convicted of that murder several years later, around 2000.

Anonymous said...

Gun Nut-Johnny Gosch was my paperboy when he disappeared in West Des Moines, Ia. Eugene Martin also was a newspaper kid that disappeared in 1984 from Des Moines delivering the same paper, different part of town. To the best of my knowledge, they have never been located. The Gosch case has always been spooky for me since it happened in my neighborhood. Most of us parents developed new rules about our kids being outside. 256

Steve said...

12:38

I remember when we didn't have to worry about where we left our cell phone (or our laptop, or hand-held calculator, or even transistor radio). I did have to replace my abacus a few times, though.

Anonymous said...

Thanks 256,
Although the Johnny Gosch and Eugene Martin cases did not have a direct Lincoln connection this was around the same time John Joubert committed his crimes. I had a young nephew at the time and everyone in the family was apprehensive about the possibility that there were monsters in the area. Child murders and abductions were really rare back then. Sadly it seems to be a common occurrence now.

Gun Nut