Chesterton Tribune



Pinging iPhone used to locate BH battery suspect

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An officer using the Find My iPhone app located a Burns Harbor man on Monday after Portage Police said that he’d battered a pregnant woman, then stolen her iPhone.

Thomas Childers Jr., 34, of 1214 Stanley St., was arrested on charges of domestic battery, intimidation, invasion of privacy, conversion, interference with reporting a crime, and criminal mischief, police said.

According to police, at 10:53 p.m. an officer was dispatched to a residence in the 6700 block of Old Porter Road after a woman four and half months pregnant reported that Childers had come to the residence in violation of a protective order. When she attempted to call police--despite his telling her that he would hurt her if she did--Childers pushed her backwards, causing her to fall on her back, and grabbed her iPhone, which he then slammed on the ground before leaving the scene, police said.

The investigating officer subsequently obtained the woman’s permission to use the Find My iPhone app, through which he was able to trace Childers to an apartment building in the 1800 block of Samuelson Road, police said. That officer and another then began knocking on doors in the complex and, when they didn’t get a response from one of the units, used the app to cause the complainant’s iPhone to “play an audible sonar ping,” police said.

It did so and the two officers heard it through the apartment’s door, police said. They could also “hear people moving around inside the apartment,” prompting the investigating officer to say that he would “obtain a warrant and kick the door in,” police said. At that time the door opened, “with Childers standing in the doorway,” police said.

Childers denied the accusations made against him and advised that he was in fact not in possession of anyone’s iPhone, police said. The officer then had the app ping the iPhone again and it was quickly located “in the grass next to the sidewalk directly below the window” of the apartment in question, police said.

Childers was transported to Porter County Jail.


Posted 7/22/2014