Technology used to indict someone for theft raises questions

This blog has previously mentioned the high degree of evidence that the state of Minnesota must prove to be able to convict someone of a crime. Not only must there be evidence, but the evidence must be credible and must be lawfully obtained. If it is not or if there is insufficient evidence to prove a suspect committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the state will lose and the suspect will be acquitted of any wrongdoing.

A Columbia Heights woman was recently arrested for possession of stolen property, but her arrest could raise some questions about whether prosecutors have sufficient evidence to convict her. The way that police tracked her down was by using the “Find My iPad” app.

Earlier this month, an individual said that his iPad had been stolen from a hotel in Minneapolis and that he had located the iPad through this application. The app will allow someone to login to an account and track the location of his or her iPad, and the owner said his was located in a home on the 500 block of 37th Avenue. When police arrived, they found the iPad inside the home and the woman who lived there was arrested.

While it is possible that this woman is responsible for stealing the iPad, it is also possible that she was given it or bought it with no idea that it had been illegally obtained. Just because the tablet was in her home does not mean that she stole it and prosecutors will need to provide considerable evidence that this woman knew she was in possession of a stolen iPad before they will be able to convict her.

Just because police arrest and accuse someone of a crime does not mean that the person will be convicted. Working with a criminal defense attorney who can unravel assumptions made by the state is crucial in clearing a suspect’s name in a theft case.

Source: KSTP 5 ABC, “‘Find My iPad’ App Locates Theft Suspect,” Jennie Olson, Nov. 8, 2012

Learn more about possession of stolen property and other theft crimes by visiting our website.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

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