Smartphones assist in police investigation

02:45, Feb 03 2014

Smartphone tactics were used by Dunedin police to apprehend alleged petty thieves at the weekend.

A 36-year-old woman and a 37-year-old man, who were apparently working in tandem, were arrested for snatching a handbag from a tourist at the city's library.

The constable investigating the theft took a smartphone photo of library CCTV footage of the alleged male offender.

The officer sent the picture to his senior sergeant who then sent it out to frontline staff.

Later in the day one of the officers, by this time off-duty, spotted the alleged male offender walking home with the stolen handbag.

"He managed to talk that man into returning to the police station with him and then we were also able to locate the female," Sergeant Matt Scoles said.

The case was a good example of how smartphone technology was becoming increasingly useful for police.

"We've used that method quite a few times at the weekend," Scoles said.

"I think we're getting a lot smarter with the way we are using those devices."

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Fairfax Media