HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) - Hampton Police used new technology to catch a burglary suspect less than an hour after the crime occurred. How? There's an app for that.
During the weekend, officers used a tracking application to locate an iPad stolen from a home on New Street during a burglary. Less than an hour later, officers say they caught 18-year-old Novian Best.
"It's a great tool," said Hampton Detective Brandt Hess. "It's very exciting. With this technology it's giving us a clue where your stuff is."
The technology on most cell phones, laptops and tablets is now at the touch of a finger. Most devices have free apps that can track lost and stolen devices using GPS.
"The victim in this case, this product was downloaded on her MacBook by her 11-year-old nephew," Hess said.
Police tracked the victim's iPad right to the suspect's front door in Newport News. They say they found Best in the attic with the iPad, a laptop and two TVs.
"[The suspect] was hiding in the insulation, so that was great," Hess said.
WAVY.com downloaded the free app to test it out. The app puts a green dot on the screen showing the device's location. Police say the dot isn't perfect, but can get police close enough.
"This product gets us with in 6' to 10' where that property is," Hess said.
Police say only about 20 percent of burglaries are solved, but as technology gets better so will the odds.
"We're going to be clearing a lot more burglaries and holding the people responsible for these things," Hess added.
Police say the apps do work well as long as owners take the time to install them. Officers want to pass along an important message: They don't want victims who had property stolen tracking the products themselves. They say it's best to leave that to the professionals.
Friday's arrest is the second Hampton police have made using this technology. The first was in July.
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