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A high-tech arrest: Police find stolen car, arrest suspects with the help of an iPhone app!

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee police make a high-tech arrest! Police were able to nab two alleged car thieves quickly on Saturday, September 27th because the victim left something very useful in her car: her iPhone!

Two suspects were arrested after the suspects allegedly stole a car with four victims, including three children, inside. They could face criminal charges for armed robbery and kidnapping.

The driver of the vehicle, a 29-year-old Milwaukee woman, went inside a gas station near 49th and Lisbon just after 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.

"The victim left her keys in her vehicle with her children in the car. She just went inside for a few seconds and by the time she came back, the car was carjacked with her children inside," Milwaukee police officer Natassha Delgado said.

Four people, the victim’s nine-year-old, seven-year-old, and two-year-old children and the victim’s 17-year-old cousin, stayed inside the vehicle.

A few minutes later near 50th and Lisbon, the suspect let the four individuals out of the car and fled in the vehicle.

As it turned out, the car's owner left something very useful to police inside that vehicle.

"With the iPhone app, it gives you your target. It narrows it right down," Milwaukee police officer Michael Boden said.

"They started broadcasting, right away, the locations of the iPhone," Delgado said.

Using the driver’s “Find my iPhone” app on the cell phone that was left in the vehicle, officers were able to locate the vehicle near N. 30th Street and W. Wright Street.

"There were multiple squads in the area. They located the vehicle," Boden said.

Officers began to pursue the vehicle when the stolen car crashed into a church near 28th and Center Streets. The chase lasted only 56 seconds.

"Airbag was deployed. The vehicle was totaled," Boden said.

Two suspects, a 19-year-old Milwaukee man and a 20-year-old Milwaukee man, were taken into custody following a brief foot chase. One was arrested at the scene -- and the other was found hiding nearby. Both suspects are convicted felons.

Police say the iPhone app has become just another tool in their arsenal -- one they're using more and more often.

"It's really helping out law enforcement a great deal," Boden said.

MPD will present the case to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office in the coming days.

Have an iPhone? CLICK HERE to download the "Find My iPhone" app.

2 comments

  • Maria

    I usually prepay for gas inside since paying at the pump locks my debit card. I make sure to only purchase gas during timeswhen my very adult looking teen is in the car with my 2 littlw ones so I dont have to leave them alone to go inside and pay. During the winter, I worr that the cold will harm them, so I ask her to mind the locked, running, heated vehicle while I pay. I have tried so hard to make the process of buying gas as safe as possible. Stories like this freak me put. I guess im going to have to leave the kids at home and go get gas alone before heading out each week. What a sad freaking world.

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