CROWN POINT | Police said they used a smartphone and Facebook this month to help catch a thief.
The Lake County prosecutor's office charged Alexander J. Bice, 18, of Merrillville, on Thursday with felony theft of a woman's cellphone at the Lake County Fair.
The woman and family members were leaving the fairgrounds in Crown Point at 10 p.m. Aug. 9 when the defendant walked up and asked to use her Apple iPhone 4S to call for a ride home, police said.
The woman said Bice dialed several numbers on the phone and then ran off with it.
Sgt. Norman Isaacs was able to trace the numbers the man dialed from the victim's account to the defendant's Facebook friends file and personal profile, police said.
The woman identified the defendant as the man who stole her phone from the Facebook profile, police said.
Isaacs said he interviewed Bice, who admitted stealing the phone and selling it for $100. The phone is valued at $579, police said.
Isaacs said he retrieved a blue Speck case that had been on the phone at the time of its theft from Bice's car.