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Stolen iPhone helps deputies catch alleged thieves

GPS tracking results in two arrests
by: MULTNOMAH COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE Lonnie Rogers

A stolen iPhone helped catch two men allegedly involved in its theft.

According to the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, at approximately 4:30 p.m. Saturday, a deputy was dispatched to take a car prowl report at Rooster Rock State Park in the Columbia River Gorge. A woman visiting from California had stopped at the park on her way to Portland International Airport to fly home. While she was away from her vehicle, several items were stolen, including an Apple iPhone 4.

About an hour after reporting the theft, the victim's husband called the deputy from his home in California to say that he was tracking the stolen iPhone on his computer through the 'Mobile Me' GPS website. A second deputy used the victim's information to follow the phone's movements through GPS and pinpointed its exact location on the a patrol car computer.

The deputy, along with two Portland police officers, went to a house in the 3900 block of North Kiska Street in Portland, and, with consent of the owners, were able to search a vehicle in the driveway, where they found some of the victim's belongings, but not the phone.

Nicholas Barnard, 43, was arrested and lodged in the Multnomah County Detention Center on one count of first-degree theft and one count of unlawful entry into a motor vehicle.

After leaving the detention center, the deputy received another call from the victim's husband who told him the GPS tracking device showed the iPhone moving again.

A third deputy who was nearby the new location was directed to the intersection of North Lombard and North Chicago streets in Portland, then steered to a more specific location, where three adult males were sitting near a tree. After talking with the men, the deputy tracking the phone sent an alert to the stolen iPhone, and it rang in the pocket of a man sitting near the treet.

Lonnie Rogers, 46, was arrested and lodged into the detention center on one count of second-degree theft and a parole violation.

The sheriff's office then called the victim at her residence in California and told her that the phone had been recovered.