Naked Security reported on June 27th that a judge found last week that a burglar who drops his phone as he flees the victim's house has no privacy right that would prevent police from searching the phone to track him down. It also led them to find evidence incriminating him in a separate kidnapping crime.
The Samsung Galaxy phone was dropped by Matthew Muller, who admitted to the March 2015 burglary of a house in Dublin, California.
Muller's attorney argued that police had no right to pick up that phone and dial an emergency number (911) from the lock screen in order to get the phone's actual number from dispatchers. But when they gained access to the phone, police also came across evidence implicating Muller in an earlier, separate crime - the kidnapping of a couple from Vallejo, California.
And not your run-of-the-mill kidnapping. This one involved binding the two with zip-ties, putting blackened swimming goggles on them, drugging them, setting up red tape and a video camera so they could monitor the boyfriend, taking the girlfriend off-site to a locked bedroom, instructing the man to send $15,000 in order to get her back, and ultimately releasing her within walking distance of her parents' home in Southern California two days later (with no ransom having been paid) after the kidnappers were outraged over a police statement that they thought the woman made the whole thing up. Bizarre, huh?
Mr. Muller's attorney argued that "the entire investigation of Mr. Muller began when a police officer without consent and without a warrant activated the keypad to a phone and began to develop information from that exact moment in time. This search was warrantless, unlawful and all the evidence obtained after the search should be suppressed."
The argument didn't wash and Mr. Muller is now undoubtedly facing charges far worse than burglary.
I sent that story to my friend/colleague Dave Ries who sent back this YouTube link which also falls under the rubric of Stupid Criminal Tricks. A mere two minutes of a moronically ineffective attempt at a liquor store burglary, it had me howling. Enjoy.
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