Monday, February 19, 2018
Public safety

Man whose 'selfie' was snapped by stolen cellphone arrested

TAMPA — A thief who grabbed a smartphone — but whose photo was snapped and sent to the phone's owner — has admitted to the theft, authorities said.

Edgar Hernandez-Santos, 38 of near Palm River, faces felony charges of grand theft and burglary from an unoccupied vehicle, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

He was stymied, authorities said, by a password-protected phone. After he tried three times to get in without luck, the Samsung Galaxy 4 clicked a photo to email to the phone's owner.

The security program called Lookout also sent the owner the GPS coordinates of the phone — showing it in the vicinity of the Bristol Bay apartment complex at 4620 Bristol Bay Way.

Detectives conducted interviews at the apartments and zeroed in on Hernandez-Santos, who lives there.

According to the Sheriff's Office, he admitted to taking the phone. It was then turned over, undamaged, to its owner.

Deputies said the episode began May 23 when the phone's owner was pumping gas at the Texaco station at 7710 Causeway Blvd. in Riverview. When the man went inside to pay for the gas, another man entered his car and took the phone.

Hernandez-Santos was arrested Thursday afternoon and was being held at the Orient Road Jail on $4,000 bail.

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