A phone call to 911 and use of a cell phone GPS tracking application guided Tonalá police to the location of a car stolen from a lakeside home, recuperation of other missing possessions and the arrest of the suspected thieves in a single day.
Pacon Rincón and Pierre Paquette woke up around 8 a.m. on Tuesday, January 30 to discover that their home in a residential complex on the Libramiento had been burglarized while they slept upstairs. They found ground floor sliding glass doors jimmied open, their indoor cat outside. Their cell phones, sets of keys, and a bag containing personal identifications, credit cards and some cash were gone. The garage where their 2014 Chevrolet SUV should have been parked was empty.
Within 15 minutes of dialing 911 Chapala police where on the scene to fill out an initial crime report. As Paquette set off for the Chapala public prosecutor’s office to lodge a formal complaint, Rincón began cancelling the credit cards and contacting his insurance company. Suddenly he remembered the GPS app activated on his cell. He got on the computer and quickly pinned down the phone’s path of movement between his residence and a Tonalá hotel from 3:50 to 5:15 a.m.
Around Noon, a second call to 911 to share that information was redirected to the Tonalá police department. By 1:30 p.m. Rincón learned that car had been located outside the hotel. Later in the day he was informed that a man and a woman staying at the hotel were being held in police custody as prime suspects.
On the advice of the Tonalá commander, that night the pair went to Guadalajara to follow up on the case with detectives in auto theft division at the state Attorney General’s headquarters. The department chief showed them some of their missing belongings and other items that were found in the car. Among them were file folders containing personal papers that the thief presumably snatched in hopes of getting hands on the car’s ownership title.
Police also found a second stolen car outside the hotel. Rincón believes he spotted the vehicle entering their complex several days prior to the burglary. A neighbor revealed he had seen a car fitting the description parked outside the complex some days earlier.
Rincón and Paquette are still going through legal channels to get their property back. Although their ordeal is far from over, they are encouraged by the swift work and courteous treatment they have experienced with the authorities, and the efficacy of employing modern technology to fight crime.