As cell phone thefts become more common, law enforcement officials are noticing a new trend. Suspects are taking pictures of themselves on the stolen phones and posting them online. It's something that tech experts say could help police nab the people responsible.
On October 5th, New Orleans police say a woman snatched a phone out of someone's hand in the 1200 block of Canal Street. Detectives say the woman took photos of herself, with a male accomplice, on the stolen phone.
"The criminal mind is not that smart but they're using your phone, they're taking pictures with it, they're doing all kinds of crazy things, they'll get busted," said tourist Steve Whittler.
MyPhoneMD founder Conrad Green says it's becoming easier to find stolen phones. “It's almost humorous because it's an idiocy from the thieves themselves, like they get the phones and they think they can just sell them off on the street, but that's not the case,” explained Green.
Not only can devices be tracked, but many cell phones can be linked to online accounts like the ICloud or Android Lookout. Green says, "If you own an apple device, you should know your ICloud password and you should have an updated account."
Whenever a picture is taken on the phone, it immediately uploads to the online account. That's how detectives were able to obtain photos of 20-year-old Darious Anderson and two other men.
Police say Anderson and one of the men in the picture with him holding a gun, robbed three women in the Marigny last Friday. They took their phones and then took pictures of themselves which later got posted to the victim's online account.
"They're gonna get caught sooner or later," said New Orleans resident Mike Kenney.
Kenney is hopeful detectives can find the thieves so he and others aren't victimized. "I'm always on my phone, especially walking up and down Rampart or Canal Street," said Kenney.
Green points out there's one more new security feature with the Android Lookout program that can help law enforcement. "Whenever say you steal a phone, your picture can actually be taken while you're trying to access a device," explained Green.
That means, whoever doesn't know the password, would be photographed. Green says as technology continues to advance, it'll only get harder and harder for criminals.
The woman wanted for the Canal Street theft is believed to be from the Hammond area. If you know her or the men wanted for the Marigny robbery, call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.