Electronic trackers inside stolen phones help police find suspects

More than two dozen phones stolen from Leon Valley store

By Katrina Webber - Crime Fighters Reporter, Tim Stewart - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - A group of suspected thieves allegedly went through a whole lot of trouble—cutting a hole in the wall of a Leon Valley cell phone store and using a blow torch to cut a hole in the safe — only to get caught in the end.

Sgt. David Trevino with Leon Valley P. D. says electronic trackers inside those stolen phones quickly put officers on their trail.

Trevino says his department received a call from the tracking company shortly before 5 a.m. Wednesday, alerting them to the theft of the cell phones.

Officers then went to the scene, in the 7000 block of Bandera Road, where they discovered a hole had been cut through the drywall of a vacant office next door into the T-Mobile store.

Once inside, he said, the suspects used a blow torch on the safe and took off with more than two dozen phones.

After the group crossed into the San Antonio limits, officers there were able to follow the signal emitted by the trackers, Trevino said.

It led them to a motel on Eisenhauer Road where they took three people into custody.

Trevino said they had 27 stolen cell phones in their possession.

He said something had triggered a burglar alarm at the business several hours earlier.

However, when officers investigated, they found no sign of a break-in at that time, he said.

Trevino said it wasn’t until the tracking company alerted them later that they realized a burglary had occurred. 

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