Smartphone, Dumb Thief: Police Use Selfie to Catch Crook

A 19-year-old Florida man stole a cellphone and took a selfie with it. Police then used the photo to find and arrest him.

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Jess Ewald

Palm Beach County Sherriff's Office

A Florida man stole a cellphone and took a selfie with it, and it's a good thing he did, since the phone was linked to the owner's account, through he he could see the photo. The owner then took the photo to the police, who posted it on their social media outlets and the man turned himself in, the New York Daily News reports.

The Daily News notes that the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office arrested 19-year-old Jess Ewald, and charged him with grand theft after officers posted a picture Ewald took of himself to their Facebook and Twitter pages, officials said.

"Do you recognize the #Selfie of this suspected thief?" the sheriff’s office wrote on their Facebook page.

Police believe that some time between 10 p.m. and midnight, Ewald stole the phone from a worker at Benny’s on the Beach, a restaurant near West Palm Beach. The woman who owned the phone didn’t realize it was gone until the end of her shift, the Daily News reports.

"The suspect apparently took a great quality 'Selfie' using the victim’s stolen phone," the sheriff’s office wrote on its post. "Not only is this the male who stole her phone, but she remembers him with a group of his friends at Benny’s."

The selfie garned so much attention on social media that authorities said Ewald was pressured to surrender to police. He was being held in lieu of $3,000 bond on Tuesday, the Daily News reports.

Read more at New York Daily News.