Video, Facebook help net robber who stole iPad from autistic boy - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Video, Facebook help net robber who stole iPad from autistic boy

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BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (KMSP) -

Police say it was a brazen act, but video footage helped them make an arrest after a robber snatched an iPad away from a 10-year-old autistic boy who was using the device to pass the time while waiting for pizza.

D'von Berry's mother told Fox 9 News the iPad her son uses with his speech therapy has been a godsend, even if his favorite thing to use it for is a game of Minecraft.

"I turned around and the next thing you know, my son was jetting out the door, so I had to run after him," Kim Berry recalled.

Berry explained that the crook made his move while the boy was waiting for his mother to order their dinner.

"I was ordering the pizza and, just that quick, they snatched the iPad and they took off," she said.

Montrel Tyson, a 21-year-old from Minneapolis with no permanent address, is now charged with robbery -- and police were able to track him down using security video that captured the word "believe" on his hat.

"Ultimately finding a Facebook photo which identifies him wearing the same hat that evening," Cmdr. Brian Peters, of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, said.

Even though it was just a case of petty theft, investigators were motivated to find a thief so brazen they would steal from a child.

"You can just feel the expression of loss of the 10-year-old when he runs out of the store after his iPad into the dark of night," Det. Chuck Valleau said.

Police say Tyson sold the iPad for $80, but investigators were able to link him to the crime using the digital fingerprints he left behind.

Investigators say it was a crime of opportunity, and cell phones are often swiped by crooks who grab and go, often specifically targeting those who may not be paying attention to their surroundings.

Police were unable to return the stolen property, but the Berry's eventually bought a new iPad for D'von -- and they're relieved an arrest was made.

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