Detroit-area police using apps to help fight crime

Smartphone apps, other high-tech tools prove useful in search for criminals

By Kevin Dietz - Reporter

DETROIT - Smartphone apps and other high-tech tools are helping Detroit-area police track down criminal suspects.

When the driver of a luxury car was carjacked recently on Detroit's west side, a smartphone was left in the car. Police were alerted and they used a "find my phone" app on the phone to track the movements of the car.  Carjacking suspect Vantanez Trotter was arrested in Inkster and the car was recovered.

In Bloomfield Hills, when a thief stole a car, a wallet left in the car contained credit cards.

Bloomfield Hills police chief David Hendrickson said his officers were quick to act to make those credit cards work for them.

"Our officers contacted the credit cards to track the suspects using the credit cards," Hendrickson said.

When one of those cards was used at an Ann Arbor business, officers were able to quickly make an arrest.

"So we got the car back and the wallet back for the vehicle owner," Hendrickson said.

More police departments are working to train their officers to use the latest available technology to help them track stolen property and thieves.

Some departments are already making smartphone apps available to citizens to keep  those citizens notified about crimes in their communities and help citizens contact police with tips and other information that will help in crime solving.

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