Idiot Phone Thief Uploads His Selfies, Plural, To His Victim's iCloud Account

from the face-time dept

Earlier this year, I wrote about a dumb criminal who reportedly broke into someone's home and incriminated himself by taking a selfie with his victim's phone. Our always helpful community did the digging they so dig to do and uncovered that the story had since been debunked. Many of you must have thought that this should have been obvious. After all, some of you surely thought, even the most idiotic bad guys aren't going to go out of their way to photograph themselves in the midst of committing their crimes.

Ah, sweet vindication is such a wonderful side-dish in a main course of schadenfreude. Not only has a recent dumb criminal proved he's perfectly willing to take a selfie with a phone he stole from his victim, but he's been taking multiple selfies. All these self-incriminating bits of narcissism are, of course, being uploaded to the victim's iCloud account and are currently being shared by police, who I imagine are also rolling around on the ground laughing.

Police in Stockton, Calif. are sharing the photo of a man they say stole a victim's iPhone. The police have identified the man because he's continued to take selfie photos that show up on the victim's iCloud account.
Oh, yes, and there have been all kinds of follow up reports on this, indicating that I won't be getting egg on my face this go around. In the meantime, the police are of course blasting this wonderful gentleman's self-portrait all over social media and local news. I expect he'll be in custody shortly, if he isn't already. Look now upon the face of a mastermind.



And, as I said, the selfies reportedly are still rolling in. Here's to our unnamed phone thief getting a nice, big mirror in his holding cell.

Filed Under: cloud, criminals, icloud, iphone, selfies, thief


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 3:54pm

    I would say they could run facial recognition searches through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) drivers license database. But why bother when police can simply pinpoint the perpetrator's location by sending an E911 GPS ping request to the stolen phone.

    I've witnessed these E911 GPS pings first hand. I accepted a phone call from the county jail. My friend got picked up for back child support, and needed a ride home.

    I had him on speaker phone and was looking at the screen on my cellphone. Suddenly I see the round GPS icon with cross hairs start blinking on the top of screen after I accept the call from jail.

    Checked my GPS settings under "privacy". GPS was disabled. I always disable GPS so Google Play Store apps can't track me. Didn't stop the E911 GPS ping from the county jail from happening.

    It said right before I accepted the phone call that by accepting it, I was consenting to location tracking. I found it an educational experience.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2014 @ 12:58pm

      Re:

      "...consenting to location tracking."

      Im surprised they bothered to inform you!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        JP Jones (profile), 7 Dec 2014 @ 2:26pm

        Re: Re:

        As much as I'm against government tracking, I think at least having the option of giving 911 your GPS location quickly and without effort makes sense. In most scenarios involving 911 you're probably going to want the police to be able to quickly find you, especially if you don't know where you are or don't have the time or state of mind to explain.

        I'd rather the police not have my data during day-to-day stuff, but if I need them in an emergency, I'd rather not have to try and explain where I am. Believe it or not, sometimes the authorities actually do have your best interest at heart.

        I'm somewhat shocked to write that, but if my family or I need help, I'd rather the help not have to figure out where I am (same logic as being able to call 911 using a locked phone). Anyway, I'm sure the reason it's kept somewhat above-board is because it's intended to be a safety feature, not a "track criminals" feature.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Dec 2014 @ 7:20am

          Re: Re: Re:

          > In most scenarios involving 911 you're probably going to want the police to be able to quickly find you

          True, but accepting a collect phone call from the county jail has nothing to do with a 911 emergency situations. It makes no sense to route jail calls through the emergency switch board system.

          > I'm sure the reason it's kept somewhat above-board is because it's intended to be a safety feature, not a "track criminals" feature.

          My experience with accepting a collect call from the county jail, says otherwise.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Sheogorath (profile), 9 Dec 2014 @ 6:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          In most scenarios involving 911 you're probably going to want the police to be able to quickly find you, especially if you don't know where you are or don't have the time or state of mind to explain.
          Not so much the police, but the paramedics once the police have done with me!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DB (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 4:11pm

    Errmmm, who holds the copyright to the picture?

    Wouldn't be ironic if the accused sues for royalties?
    Copyright maximalists would assert that someone owns the copyright and someone should profit from any publication.

    I believe that there is no valid copyright on the images.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 4:27pm

      Re:

      I think the caterpillars own the copyright.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 4:36pm

      Re:

      Good question actually, he's the one taking the pictures, so you'd assume the copyright would go to him, but they're being taken with a stolen phone, which might muddy the waters a bit.

      I think the copyright over them would still belong to him, and yeah, it would be insanely funny if he turned around and tried to sue the people posting the pictures for 'violating his copyright'.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 4:48pm

        Re: Re:

        I raised this back with the monkey issue -- if someone takes photos with stolen merchandise, do they still own the copyright?

        In this case though, the photos were used by law enforcement in pursuit of a person wanted for questioning. As such, it's outside of copyright. Redistribution is then fair use, as long as it's in the form of reporting, and the original source was the police copy of the images. And then there's the fact that the thief distributed the images to the victim's iCloud account in the first place, so they can't really sue anyone as they distributed the photo themselves.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Zos (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 5:13pm

    They might have shared it for novelty value, and they might bother to go pick the guy up if someone tells them precisely where he is, (though i wouldn't put money on it). These are hilarious, but most of us have experienced the lack of follow through attempting to get cops interested in a little stolen property. Ain't nobody got time for that when there;s pot heads they could seizing assets from.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    tqk (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 7:31pm

    I hope they have a good tech 101 class where he's going.

    :-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 10:12pm

    Does California have a law against profiting from a crime you've committed? Seems that since the only way he took the photos was as a result of committing theft, he would be able to assert copyright on the photos.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tablets (profile), 6 Dec 2014 @ 1:10am

    Oh, my...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2014 @ 7:17am

    So, if he is taking pictures of himself and they are uploading to the owners icloud account, I'm wondering why the owner doesn't use the find my phone feature

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2014 @ 10:47am

    Somehow Cushing will post an article how this is the cops fault....cuz all cops are evil and all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 6 Dec 2014 @ 11:30am

      Re:

      Somehow Cushing will post an article how this is the cops fault ...

      How about a deeper look at the situation from a US senator:

      http://www.theverge.com/2014/12/6/7343613/eric-garner-michael-brown-rand-paul-police-reform

      T he cops aren't the only ones at fault. They've been pushed between a rock and a hard place. Cops are just the bleeding edge of the problem.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 6 Dec 2014 @ 3:48pm

      Re:

      As opposed to people like you, for whom the cops are never the problem, as they're all saints and people need to never criticize them when they break, bend, or abuse the law?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JP Jones (profile), 7 Dec 2014 @ 3:16pm

      Re:

      I don't think Cushing has ever said anything of the sort. Cops are public servants, and their entire purpose is ensuring that laws are enforced. So when cops are abusing or otherwise breaking the law, that means that our primary defense against lawbreakers are the lawbreakers themselves.

      The problem is that the polarity has been reversed (obscure joke, sorry). Cops are less likely to be punished for breaking the law that ordinary citizens. It should be the opposite. As the enforcers of the law, they should be held to the highest standards of it, beyond that of ordinary citizens.

      Imagine if a doctor told you that you were fine after an injury, and you nearly died from it. Now imagine your brother told you the same thing, in the same situation. Which would you be more upset with? My guess is the doctor...he or she has been trained to deal with injury, and it's their job to ensure patients are taken care of. Your brother (unless he was a doctor too) probably isn't, so you wouldn't hold him to the same standard.

      Yet with the police it's as if your brother would end up with a malpractice suit against them and the doctor would keep on treating people and there's nothing you can do about it. How does that make sense? Why would we hold an untrained citizen to a higher standard that the trained professional?

      It's not that Cushing or anyone at TD staff hates cops. They believe cops shouldn't be allowed to abuse the law, and believe we should be informed when they do...and when they skirt punishment for it. I agree. Change doesn't happen unless people know there's a problem.

      Here's what we do know. The total number of police officers killed by direct criminal action (not including vehicles) in 2014 is 45 (43 shootings, 2 assaults). The lowest estimates of citizens killed per year by police officers is 400, with some estimates closer to 1,000. To me it's shocking that they don't even count the number, or if they do, that it's not reported to the public.

      Using the lowest estimates a single police officer is killed by civilians for every ten civilians they kill. To be honest, that terrifies me, especially when they aren't being held accountable for it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Just Another Anonymous Troll, 8 Dec 2014 @ 7:20am

        Re: Re:

        "To me it's shocking that they don't even count the number, or if they do, that it's not reported to the public."
        Would you keep a running tally of your fatal screwups?
        Now add some fear of accountability into the mix, and it's shocking that whoever keeps this tally hasn't been raided for some made-up crime by now.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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