iPad app helps police make arrest in West Hartford

- FILE - West Hartford police (WTNH)

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — It was a broad daylight burglary. It happened on Bramley Road around 10 a.m. on Tuesday. A man couldn’t find his iPad in his house so he went online to locate it with an app and noticed it was moving down the street in his West Hartford neighborhood.

Det. Sgt. Tony Anderle of the West Hartford Police Department says the app made it pretty easy to track the suspect.

“So he sees that it’s moving so he starts to go to the area also calling the police at the same time. Patrol officers get into the area and they see Jeffrey Barnes walking down the street,” he said.

Detective Anderle says they arrested Barnes for burglary. During the background check, they say he had a warrant for burglary out of Windsor as well. As they continued to investigate, officers looked inside of his backpack and found he had broke into other West Hartford homes on Tuesday morning as well.

“And he pretty much opens the backpack and says, ‘here, the iPad is here,’ and as they went through it, they located a laptop and a woman’s watch, but they were able to tack back to Knollwood Road,” he told News 8.

West Hartford Police say most phones and tablets have that app. You should download it, it’s free. You just load it onto your phone so you can track whatever is stolen because Andrele says it has come in handy in a lot of cases, not just stolen iPads.

“We have had people that have been mugged on the street or robbed and their phone was taken. We were able to locate their phone pretty quickly one we started using the app, or they left their phone in the car and the car got stolen. We can track it that way,” he said.

Bikes are one of the most commonly stolen items and there are new GPS trackers on the market.

“I’m looking at the GPS trackers in the technology to see if it makes sense for us in the shop and if it is something that we like, we will bring it in,” he said.

Jeff Gelt at Central Wheel in Farmington says for the customers that come in to buy new bikes after they’ve had theirs stolen, he recommends a good, solid bike lock.

“If I’m going down to the coffee shop and I’m going to be in and out, a small lock will do the trick, but if i’m going somewhere where my bike will be left out for a while, I’m probably going to want to use something a little bit bigger like a U-lock!” he said.