High-tech methods help nab high-tech thieves in La Porte, police say

LA PORTE, TX (KTRK) -- Thieves broke into an AT&T store looking for merchandise but didn't get far. The suspects didn't know the company was using its own technology to help police track them down.

"That's freaky scary," said nail salon owner Lynn Tran.

Tran was shocked to see just how burglars broke into an AT&T store next door.

"I hope it's not gonna come to our shop," she said.

La Porte Police said it happened at 2:15am Wednesday morning in the 8700 block of Spencer Highway. Four men from the Houston area managed to pry open the back door of a retail shop that was up for lease.

"It was vacant which quite often won't have active alarm system," said Sgt. John Krueger, City of La Porte.

The four men, police said, broke through the Sheetrock and crawled into the AT&T store. They took off with an undisclosed amount of merchandise.

"Our police responded they were not able to catch the individuals in action," said Sgt. Krueger.

Instead, big brother did. Police said AT&T was able to use its technology to track the men down in the Pasadena area.

"They were still in possession of a lot of tools used to break in as well as a bunch of technology," said Sgt. Krueger.

Justin Carter, 22; Ernest Hill, 27; Tevon Solomon, 21; and Devonte Vining, 19, now face charges ranging from burglary to engaging in organized criminal activity.

All four may possibly be linked to other crimes as for Tran and other business owners they hope the security they invested in their stores is more than enough to keep burglars away.

Eyewitness News reached out to the owner of the independently operated AT&T store to find out how they tracked the burglars but did not want to comment.

However, technology experts said most electronic devices have a feature like "find my phone", which can track it down. Experts suggest if you have that feature to always leave it on. null
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