Using tech to stop a thief - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Using tech to stop a thief

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Within just seconds a thief can turn your world upside down.

Your cellphone, wallet, valuables - especially if left out in the open - can be stolen before you even know they're gone.

A Memphis woman recently had her cellphone snatched while she was at work. We talked with her husband.

"When the guy went through the office, they were having a company meeting," recalled Ben Rednour, victim's husband. "Guy comes in and asks to use the restroom and there are the old (Blackberrys) laying out. He didn't touch the crackberries, he just went for the newer smartphones."

Shelby County Sheriff spokesman Chip Washington said it doesn't take long for a crook to steal your stuff.

"iPhones, iPads - people will leave wallets or purses," he said. "Those are the things that are small enough that can be pawned easy enough  and get some quick cash."

Rednour says in his wife's case they were lucky. Technology came to the rescue.

"When the police arrived they asked if she had any tracking software," Rednour said. "I gave them the password, the user name and password, and they were able to track the guy."

Rednour added that using the tracking device on the smartphone, he and police followed the thief and tracked him down.

"I was able to sit at work all day and online and follow him as he drove around town," Rednour said. "He went to pawn shop to pawn shop to try to sell it."

If you have an iPhone, the application is called TrackMyPhone app. If you download it, police say they've used it several times to get victims their items back.

"We've solved some cases like that in the past, but again it's the invitation," Washington said. "You don't want to issue the invitation."

Washington says the best way to avoid becoming a victim is that if you're at work or out and about, hide everything, but also take inventory of your personal items.

"You always need to know what you have so that way if something is missing then you know it's missing," Washington added.

"It's very disheartening," Rednour said. "You're kind of like, 'ahh I just spent a lot of money on that, and it's gone.' But having these systems in place or having theses applications set up so if this does happen, it was very helpful."

Washington says we all think it won't happen to me, but he says if you make it easy they will take it easy. He says the best way to avoid becoming a victim is to never leave anything in plain sight.

"What they think is what's yours is yours, but if I get it, it's mine," Washington said.

Forewarned is always forearmed.

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