U.S. News

Alabama man killed after tracking stolen cell phone with app

(Reuters) - An Alabama man who used a computer app to track down his stolen cell phone was shot and killed when he tried to retrieve it from the suspected thief, police said on Monday.

The 23-year-old victim’s phone was stolen from his car in Fairfield, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham, said Fairfield Police Chief Leon Davis.

The tracking app led the victim to a church parking lot near Miles College late on Sunday, Davis said.

The man is believed to have “arrived on the scene and hit a button on the app that made the phone ring inside a vehicle,” the police chief said in an interview. “When he went to retrieve the phone inside the vehicle, the suspect shot and killed him.”

The victim and the shooter apparently knew each other, Davis said. The suspect has not been arrested but police have “very good leads” as to his identity, he added.

The case illustrates the danger of people trying to apprehend cell phone thieves on their own with the help of tracking apps, Davis said.

“Notify police and let them handle the recovering,” he said.

Reporting by David Beasley in Atlanta; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Lisa Shumaker