Stolen phone's GPS helps police nab suspect

A 41-year-old Pasadena woman was arrested Sunday after police used a global positioning tracking system to trace her to an alleged stolen cell phone, officials said.

Yesenia Sanchez was arrested and cited after allegedly admitting to finding the $525 phone outside a yard sale in La Crescenta and not asking its owner whether it was on sale because she was “afraid they would lie to her and keep it for themselves,” according to Glendale police reports.

The owner told police she placed her Motorola Droid 3 cell phone on top of a storage bin inside her garage as she tended to customers at her yard sale, but noticed it was missing about 2:45 p.m.

The cell phone owner helped police track it down by using an application used to locate lost or stolen phones, eventually tracing it

to a home on the 1700 block of North Allen Avenue in Pasadena. The tracking system selected the same address three times, but then the phone appeared to be turned off.

Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said the cell phone’s owner gave officers permission to access the tracking system.

Sanchez reportedly told police that she and her husband were running errands when, at about 2 p.m., they went to a yard sale, where she bought a sweater and left.

Sanchez allegedly said she found the cell phone in a street gutter in La Cañada Flintridge, but then told police she found it in the La Crescenta home’s garage, according to an incident report.

She told police that she planned to return to the phone to its rightful owner, but when it began ringing, she turned it off because she was busy, according to police.

Police cited Sanchez because she left the La Crescenta home “without making any effort to return or pay for the phone, or locate the owner.”


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