COLORADO SPRINGS – A woman whose phone was stolen might be able to help police solve the crime, all thanks to pictures discovered in her Google account taken after the phone was stolen.
Colorado Springs Police often hit a dead end without any leads and these cases go cold.
But if you have any data from your stolen phone pointing to a suspect, police can continue to devote resources to solving it.
For instance, they can distribute a photo internally in case the suspect pops up on their radar again.
In Kristina Ortiz’s case, she lost a Razer phone and an e-cigarette a month ago.
She left them inside the car – with the door unlocked.
“My boyfriend was in his car and asked if I had gone through it, if I was looking for something because things were scattered around,” she remembered.
“I was like, ‘No, I wasn’t looking for anything and then we noticed that the e-cig and the phone were gone.”
She brushed it off, until yesterday, when her boyfriend made a startling discovery of a stranger in their photos.
“He sent me a picture and asked if I knew who this guy was,” she said.
“And I was like, ‘No, never seen him before.’ So we just two and two together that it uploaded whenever he stole the phone.”
There’s even a picture of the man watching a video on how to use the phone.
And even though Ortiz doesn’t care if she gets it back, she wants to prevent this from happening again.
“What if it ended up being somebody’s purse, it ended up being a necklace from somebody’s grandmother that they can’t get back?” she wondered.
“So, for me the e-cig and the phone are a loss but I don’t want anybody else to lose anything.”
Now, she has a word of advice for folks who have a smart device stolen.
“Technology is an amazing,” she said in awe.
“Just go through your account and see if you can find it in any way.”
She also has a tip on how to protect them in the first place.
“Lock your car!” she emphasized.
“Definitely make sure you lock your car.”
Ortiz plans to file a police report and hadn’t before because she says the items weren’t valuable and she didn’t want to wrongly accuse the man in the picture.
But police want to remind everyone that any theft is still a crime and they’ll be the ones to investigate who did what.
CSPD also recommends if you get your phone stolen, you should disable accounts with any sensitive information.