Internet Not Evil: Teen Uses MySpace to Catch Mugger

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Feb 28, 2008 11:45 AM
Nicely done. When Victor Hernandez mugged 16-year-old Yudelka Polanco, taking her cell phone, he thought he was in the clear:
But the thief underestimated a tiny piece of modern-day technology found in many cell phones today: the SIM card, which contains data unique to only the individual who owns the phone, including phone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc.

After the robbery, the mugger checked his own email using Polanco's SIM card. So when Polanco, a junior at Norman Thomas High School, had her old information transferred to her new phone, the mugger's e-mail address showed up.

That's when Polanco decided to do some investigating of her own, and looked up the mugger's e-mail on MySpace. Sure enough, a profile popped up that showed a picture of the culprit, but she wanted even more evidence.

So Polanco asked a girlfriend of hers to start an online friendship with him through the social networking giant.

"I told her to request him because his page was private information so I could get a better picture of him," she said.

Turned out the mugger, identified then as 16-year-old Victor Hernandez, thought he was a ladies' man too and bought into the ploy. Hernandez sent several photos and other identifying information to Polanco's friend, and the pair finally presented the evidence to police.
Looks like he might also be tied to a couple of other crimes. And, Polanco also gives good quote:
"You're stupid because you thought you were slick to steal a phone, and he actually signed on. That was a stupid thing to do," she said.