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Non-Stop Butt Dialing Busts Car Thief

Oli Scarff, Getty Images

Police in Renton, Washington say a series of inadvertent phone calls to emergency dispatchers led them to suspected car thieves and the arrest of one man.

With the suspect unaware the cell was on call, the receiver heard male voices discussing cars to steal in the Renton area. Unfortunately for the car thieves, the call went on for 44 minutes as they apparently drove through the Renton area and discussed what kind of cars to target and the things they could steal from them.

Although police were unable to locate the source of the call, four days later, the same emergency dispatch center received two additional 911 calls from the same number. In one call, the same male voice could be heard discussing a stolen Toyota 4-Runner, which the police recently had on record.

The dispatcher sent police to find the vehicle by tracing the call. When officers arrived at the scene, they found an abandoned Honda which had been reported stolen earlier in the day. Then as their luck would have it, the dispatchers received a fourth inadvertent 911 call from the same cell phone.

An officer spotted an occupied car in the lot and questioned one of the passengers, 40-year-old Wesley Strom, who said his cellphone sometimes called 911 for no apparent reason. The officer confirmed that Strom’s number matched all four of the 911 calls — and to make things even easier, Strom had a warrant for his arrest.

The story ends with Strom arrested and charged with possession of the stolen Toyota 4-Runner and the stolen Honda. All because he was ‘too cool’ for a flip phone. Auto-lock your screen, dude.

[Via The Seattle Times]

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