Mysterious Selfie Leads Cops to Persons of Interest in Break-In

Thursday, August 21, 2014
California police have discovered the identities of a couple whose selfie photo showed up on the "cloud" account attached to allegedly stolen electronics. Authorities released the photos of the man and woman Wednesday in the hopes of identifying the persons of interest.

"As a result of the social media attention, the male in the photo saw the news coverage and came into the station to identify himself," Deputy Sheriff Josh Dubin told ABC News today. "He is cooperating with the detectives on the case.

"The female person of interest has also been identified with the public's help and a detective will reach out to her later today."

They are not suspects but "still just persons of interest," he added.

Police say the investigation is ongoing.

"I've been a detective for quite some time and I've never had a case like this before," Det. Brian Dow told ABC News.

Police responded to an alleged burglary July 30 when a woman said her home had been ransacked. The victim told police she had come home to find electronics and money missing, along with other personal items. She said her front door had been unlocked and the mesh screen on a kitchen window had been cut out.

An incident report was filed, fingerprints were taken and an investigation into the burglary was quickly underway.

WATCH: Stolen Tablet Returned After Selfie Evidence Surfaces


READ: Minnesota Man Faces Burglary Charges After Logging Into Facebook on Victim's Computer

A few days later, a break in the case came from an unlikely source: the victim's iCloud account.

While accessing a virtual Internet server, which syncs the data from her electronic devices, she said she noticed that selfies had been taken and uploaded by a couple she did not recognize.

The man and woman, photographed snuggled up in bed, seemingly took the photos sometime after the burglary at a location the victim did not recognize.

"I want to identify these people," Det. Dow said of the mysterious couple, who he believes are key to solving the case.

"I was at my wits end trying to figure out who these folks were," Dow said, adding that he turned to social media Wednesday in the hopes that someone would recognize them.

"We put out the report and everything started blowing off the hook," the detective added. "Social media has never helped out like this."

This is far from the first time a photo flub has led to a break in a burglary case. In July, police say a stolen tablet was recovered after the alleged burglar uploaded a photo of himself using it on Facebook. In June, police say an alleged burglar logged onto his Facebook account and forgot to log out, leaving authorities with ample photos of the prime suspect.

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