A South Florida woman’s car theft investigation took an unexpected turn when a private investigator got hold of the Google search history of the smartphone left in the stolen car.
The phone was being used by the serial thief to Google himself, ultimately leading to his arrest.
The car theft took place on Northeast 89th Street and Eighth Court in Northeast Miami-Dade this month.
The victim, Gina Vlasek, found her car missing, after which she took help from a private investigator Ana Campos, who also happens to be her friend.
“Yesterday morning, when I came out, I looked, and the car was gone,” said Vlasek.
Upon learning the fact that Vlasek left her phone in the stolen car, Campos simply looked up the Google search history of the account that was signed in on Vlasek’s phone.
That was when Campos stumbled across information which resulted in the arrest of the thief.
“In Google, there is a history. To make a long story short, he Googled himself,” said the private investigator.
The serial thief, Amos Shuler, ended up Googling his name and went through a 7News report from September 2019 regarding his previous arrest in El Portal.
What’s more, Campos also got to know that Shuler, the car thief, was also a suspect in a Miami Shores burglary as well.
“Put two and two together pretty quickly, and notified her, notified the police,” said Campos.
The police, based on the information provided by Campos, traced the thief’s location based on the last address where they arrested him.
“We do solve a lot of cases based on the ignorance of those that break the law and we’ll take it,” said David Magnussson, the El Portal Police Chief.
The police found the victim’s car parked a few blocks away from Shuler’s home.
It was also revealed that the police arrived right when Shuler returned to the stolen car, along with the key fob as well as the stolen phone.
Appreciating the victim’s will to catch the offender, the police chief said, “I’ll tell you what, the victim is a real good victim. Really heckbent on getting as much information as she could.”
The victim stated that she was determined about getting her car back and that the offender deserved to be caught. “I think that if you have a history of these crimes and you’re so stupid to do exactly what you did, then you kind of deserve to get caught,” said Vlasek.