Police use drug suspect and digital clues to track down thief

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Mountlake Terrace Police used a drug arrest suspect on another case and digital clues to track down a person allegedly responsible for numerous burglaries in the City of Mountlake Terrace.

An arrestee in a previous drug case provided information regarding another suspect responsible for burglaries within our city. With the assistance of the drug arrest suspect a meeting was arranged with the alleged burglar.

The suspect, believing he was meeting with his fellow criminal, arrived at the arranged location and was met by Detectives and Patrol Officers who took him into custody without incident. A small baggie of heroin and items that were likely stolen were found on the subject. The suspect was later booked on charges of Violation of the Uniform Controlled Substance Act (VUCSA) and Trafficking of Stolen Property.

One of the items taken from the suspect was a cell phone, the owner of which could not be immediately determined. A search of the memory card of the phone revealed several photographs of the back yard of a home. Police analyzed the files and used information stored in the meta-data of these photographs to determine the GPS coordinates of the locations of the home in the photographs.

Detectives located the owner of the home at these coordinates and found that he was the victim of a theft and that the memory card found in the suspect’s phone was actually the card that had previously been in the victim’s stolen phone. Detectives are continuing this investigation.

Image courtesy Brandon Shigeta.

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