i-Phone app leads Chandler police to smash and grab suspect - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

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i-Phone app leads Chandler police to smash and grab suspect

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CHANDLER, AZ (CBS5) -

Chandler police have busted a smash and grab burglary suspect, thanks to a very popular piece of technology.

They said the "Find My i-Phone" app on a stolen i-Phone 5 led them right to 32-year-old Richard Hornlein's apartment, not long after he took it out of a woman's car.

"I had my laptop, my i-Pad, my i-Phone, my purse and my vacuum cleaner all in my car," said the smash and grab victim, a woman named Melissa.

As soon as Melissa locked her car and walked into a yoga class on Saturday, Aug. 14th, police said Hornlein smashed her window and took all of her valuables.

"Losing a purse or an ID or a wallet is really violating," she said.

Fortunately, Melissa had technology on her side.

Within minutes of calling police, they were able to track her phone through its GPS-enabled "Find My i-Phone" app.

After getting a search warrant, they found Melissa's belongings and so much more.

"There were probably close to 100 different identifications, and passports and different things like that, that had been stolen out of people's cars," said Chandler police Sgt. Joe Favazzo.

Police also found stolen purses and electronics, along with drugs and thousands of dollars in cash inside of Hornlein's apartment.

They said he would target areas, including park and gym parking lots, and wait for his victims to leave their cars before he broke in and stole whatever he could find.

"Don't be a victim," said Favazzo. "The way you can keep from becoming a victim is don't leave valuables in plain sight. Take your purse with you."

Melissa said, "lesson learned."

She hopes now that Hornlein is behind bars, he'll learn his too.

"That's karma," said Melissa. "That's the way it works. So, he got what was coming to him. I think justice is coming."

Hornlein has been booked into the Lower Buckeye Jail on several charges including identity theft.

Chandler police are still investigating and said more arrests are possible.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

 

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