New cell phone technology assists police in solving crimes

Published: Feb. 15, 2013 at 11:16 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 17, 2013 at 10:16 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - While images caught by security cameras from these hotels in South Charlotte helped CMPD officers nab Elontre Glenn, help also came from his cell phone that put him at the scene of several crimes, at the exact moment when offenses occurred.

For officers in CMPD's Westover Division, it allowed them clear more than a dozen thefts, after warrants were obtained for his cell phones.

The department is being quiet about this level of technology, but experts locally are sharing some tricks of the trade.

Graham Kuzia teaches cell phone forensics at Central Piedmont Community College at the schools American Academy of Applied Forensics.

He says, new technology can pinpoint the slightest moves.

"So when we plug it in, it extracts all of the data you can put it on a thumb drive or a hard drive for us."

From there it can be accessed by a computer.

" You can see pretty much anything. Anything that's on the phone. Currently, any text messages you've ever had. Phone calls,"Kuzia said." Duration of the phone calls. Photos that you may have deleted. Internet history."

Defense attorney Noel Tin calls it a powerful tool, but worries that extracting phone data may raise a series of constitutional questions.

"This is an example of technology getting ahead of the law and now the law is gonna have to catch up to where the technology is at and figure out where you're right's lie," he said.

For years ankle monitors have pinpointed the locations of those who have been in trouble with the law, but now add phones to list of devices that can link someone to a specific place in question before, during, and after a crime.

"It just gives us one more indication that they were involved."

Now law enforcement agencies have just one more tool to connect the missing links.

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