‘Selfie’ of Smartphone Thief Snapped Thanks to App

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CLEVELAND--A local man's smartphone proved to be too smart for a robber.

"Last year, my iPhone was stolen. So I just have terrible luck with phones," said Arjun Venkatesh, a sophomore at Case Western Reserve.

Venkatesh's bad luck streak only continued last week.

"Around 11 at night, me and my friend were walking to a different house and these two guys just came running up behind us. They grabbed my friend and pushed him to the ground and put a gun to his chest. They asked for our stuff and took off," said Venkatesh.

Venkatesh went to his computer, went online, and locked his smartphone.

"A little while later, I get this email from Lookout. I had totally forgotten about this feature on my phone. And I get a picture of this random guy. And the email says, someone tried to unlock your phone five times unsuccessfully and this is a picture of the guy who did it," laughed Venkatesh.

Venkatesh's smartphone had an app called Lookout with a feature called Lock Cam.

The app says after three unsuccessful attempts to crack the password, the app uses the device's front-facing camera to snap a selfie.

"It was almost comical to me. You don't expect that at all. I was just trying to protect my phone from being hacked into, not thinking I'd get an actual picture out of the guy," said Venkatesh.

Venkatesh turned the picture into Case Western Reserve police.

The police department is now investigating.

Venkatesh doesn't have his phone back yet.