'Find my iPhone' app leads to arrests in car theft with children inside

What we learned today:

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. -- The 'Find my iPhone' app led police to two men arrested in connection with a stolen car that had a 1-month-old and a 4-year-old still in the backseat, according to the Clayton County Sheriff's Office.

Khyree D. Swift, 17, and a 16-year-old male, whose name was not released, were arrested through a combined effort between the Clayton County Sheriff's Office and Clayton County Police Department, officials said.

The teens were arrested in connection to stealing a vehicle from a QuikTrip gas station with two children still in the backseat on Wednesday.

The mother had left the vehicle unattended to go pay for gas. When she came back out, her car and her children were gone. 

Police said a silver vehicle pulled up, and someone jumped out of that vehicle and into the victim's vehicle.

Clayton County Police Major Craig Hammer called it a "crime of opportunity."

"They happened to see the vehicle parked in the parking lot running," Hammer said.

Authorities later located both girls down the road from the scene of the crime. The 4-year-old girl was found walking down the shoulder of the roadway near I-285 and Riverdale Road by Georgia State Police Chief Joe Spillane. The 1-month-old was later found in her car seat along South Fulton Parkway. It was 22 degrees outside when they were located.

According to arrest warrants, authorities used the 'Find my iPhone' app to track down an iPad stolen with the vehicle. The stolen iPad was pinged to the home address of Swift on Pegg Road, according to the warrants. Police also said they traced a phone call made from a stolen cell phone to that same address on Pegg Road. 

After investigators responded to the home, Swift allegedly told them the name of a teen who tried to sell him the victim's cell phone and iPad. 

Police tracked down that suspect, who they said had the stolen iPhone. After being brought to the police station, that teen allegedly confessed to conspiring with Swift and another person to steal the vehicle. 

“Throughout the investigation, we were able to recover property that belonged to the victim and both persons have admitted to playing a role in this incident,” said Hammer.

Both teens denied driving the stolen car, according to the arrest warrants.

"The two that we have in custody have not admitted to being in the vehicle," Hammer said.

They are charged with by theft by taking motor vehicle, kidnapping, cruelty to children, and theft by receiving stolen property.

Officials believe there are more suspects involved in the case after a silver Honda was caught on surveillance video pulling up next to the stolen car. Videos showed a suspect getting out of the Honda and into the stolen vehicle before driving off together.

“The investigation is still ongoing to ensure all persons involved are apprehended,” Hammer said.

The two suspects have already admitted to playing a role in the heinous crime during their separate interviews with investigators. However, they're both claiming to not be the driver of the vehicle.

Police will also not pursue charges against the mother. “We don’t see any charges against the mother of the children,” Hammer said.

Hammer also added that investigators believe the crime was random.

"They were out just driving around; happened to see the vehicle in the parking lot running and it was a crime of opportunity," he said.

Police believe at least one person is still on the run.

© 2018 WXIA-TV


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