Smart phone app busts suspected illegal immigrant

Elizabeth Erwin
Elizabeth Erwin


By: Elizabeth Erwin

TUBAC, AZ (CBS5) -Amanda Schreiber turned in Wisconsin’s frigid winter for a hands-on education in agriculture.

She’s been interning at Agua Linda Farm for two months.

But she’s getting schooled in more than just science.

Wednesday she noticed something a little fishy in her trailer.

“There used to be a box of instant pudding there,” Schreiber said.

Other stuff was missing too.

“My pocket knife, my digital camera and my boyfriend’s brother’s watch,” she said.

Her iPhone was also gone.

Farm owner Stewart Loew has been around long enough to guess what was up.

“I was born and raised here. My father bought the place in 1956,” Loew said.

It’s a great spot to grow up and raise a family.

Loew said it’s also a prime cut through location for suspected illegal immigrants.

“We had our horses stolen five or six years ago. That was definitely migrant,” he said.

Loew was pretty sure he knew who broke into his intern’s home and stole her stuff.

“Usually they’ll break in and eat food and leave. This guy decided to get greedy and found an iPhone and a camera and a watch and thought he had it made,” he said.

Little did the burglar know that Loew has been burned by Apple thievery before.

“I’ve always wanted to bust somebody’s ass with this app because my son had his iPod stolen a couple years ago,” Loew said.

You have to love technology.

Just because you’ve lost your iPhone, doesn’t mean it’s gone for good.

If you have the Find iPhone app you can track it down.

Just click on the app and enter your user id and password.

It can find your phone.

“Sure enough it, like, came up,” Schreiber said.

Schreiber’s phone showed the exact spot where the burglar was hiding, just a mile away.

She called the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office and Border Patrol, then booked it over to the hideaway in Tubac where they found the suspected illegal immigrant and all her stuff.

“We live a thousand yards away from a check point on I-19 which is now a permanent installation,” Loew said.

And a tower is visible from anywhere on the ranch.

“We’ll get checked up in the mornings, taking the kids to the bus stop, yet a migrant can walk both directions, north and south, and not be detected, and stumbling across a phone busts him,” Loew said.

It shows that millions of dollars in equipment and boots on the ground are apparently no match for an app.

Loew said he’d love to see the sheriff’s office get their hands on this technology.

He also said Border Patrol was a big help arresting the bad guy.