Technology rises as major crime-fighting tool in Valley

Staff report


The standard tools of a stocking cap, handgun and mask didn’t work for a man stealing cellphones from a store in Niles and ordering an employee into the back room in December.

Fail to tell police that you took your boyfriend to the store and bought him paper towels and bleach after he committed a murder? That didn’t work out real well for a Howland woman a year ago either.

In both cases, police unmasked the crime without much difficulty.

In the first case, authorities arrested a suspect in short order and felt pretty confident they had solved the crime.

In the second one, police found a receipt in a car, went to the store from which it came and watched surveillance video showing the woman buying bleach and paper towels.

Both are examples of Trumbull County crimes solved with technology.

Such examples prompted Chris Becker, assistant county prosecutor, to say people breaking the law should probably just tell cops the truth. Chances are, technology will get them if the cops don’t, he said.

“Technology over the last 20 years or so has really benefited law enforcement in terms of tracking down what was said, when it was said, where individuals were,” Becker said. “Routinely we search cellphones and photographs. People keep a tremendous amount of data on their cellphones anymore. They’re basically mobile computers.”

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on

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