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Tipsheet

Internet Not Evil: Teen Uses MySpace to Catch Mugger

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.
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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.


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