San Bernardino police have arrested two men suspected of looting a T-Mobile store last month after using the tracker from a stolen iPhone to link them to the crime, officials said Thursday.
The theft took place on the night of May 31, while demonstrators were protesting against racial injustice and police brutality following the death of George Floyd.
Around 10 p.m., burglars broke into the T-Mobile store at 1574 W. Baseline St. by shattering a glass door, according to a news release from the San Bernardino Police Department. They left with thousands of dollars worth of electronic devices and other items, including an iPhone 11 box that contained a tracking device.
At one point, the burglars used a gun to try and enter the interior of the business, police said. When that failed, they used household tools to force entry.
The next day, a T-Mobile employee contacted police to notify law enforcement of the theft and to track the stolen electronics. Investigators contacted the employee, who said the item was tracked to an address in the 3700 block of Ridge Line Drive in San Bernardino, according to police.
Later that day, police went to the residence and spoke with the homeowner.
“While speaking with officers, the homeowner was able to produce a cell phone that he believed might have been the stolen item investigators were looking for,” the release stated.
The cellphone was returned to T-Mobile and employees were able to verify it was the item taken during the break in, according to police.
Officers were contacted by the business again, however, after a tracking device went off and was once more linked to the home on Ridge Line Drive, authorities said. Police returned to the T-Mobile store, where they were presented with an updated list of stolen property.
The total value of all items taken from the business was estimated at $8,691.
While at the store, investigators also reviewed surveillance video from the night of the burglary that appeared to show two people in the inventory room gathering merchandise.
On June 4, police returned to the Ridge Line Drive residence and served a search warrant. Two men found inside the home — Siante Lockridge, 28, and Anthony Flewellen, 35 — were identified as the pair captured on the surveillance footage, according to the release.
They were each arrested on suspicion of burglary and booked at a local jail. Bail has been set at $50,000 for each of them, inmate records showed.
“The City of San Bernardino was severely impacted by the looting that occurred during the civil unrest, and our investigative teams are working tirelessly to solve as many cases as possible,” police officials said in the release.
Anyone with information about that case or other instances of looting can contact Detective W. Porch by calling 909-384-5640 or emailing email@example.com, or Sgt. M. Aranda at 909-384-5642 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tips can also be sent to email@example.com.