Selfie lands burglary suspect behind bars

Selfies taken by suspected burglar on Dec. 31, 2016. (Court Records)
Selfies taken by suspected burglar on Dec. 31, 2016. (Court Records)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A 56-year-old Humble man is in the Travis County Jail accused of breaking into various Austin businesses and stealing electronics. According to an arrest warrant, James Johnson, even took selfies of himself with the items he allegedly stole.

James Edward Johnson (Austin Police Department)
James Edward Johnson (Austin Police Department)

Over the New Year’s Day holiday weekend, the office of SG Interactive in north Austin was broken into and several laptops and tablets were stolen. The business told police the stolen Apple devices were synced to the company’s cloud account, which allowed them to see photos of a person who was in possession of the stolen iPad. The person in the photo had taken selfies of himself as well as a photo with a woman.

At the time, authorities weren’t able to identify the suspect from the selfies alone, but another burglary in south Austin allowed them to connect the dots. According to court documents, three people were caught trying to burglarize Texas Nursery and Landscaping Association. One suspect, later identified as Johnson, was discovered with a laptop from the business.

Police were able to use cellphone data to determine that Johnson was in the vicinity of SG Interactive when it was burglarized. They were also able to determine that one of the people Johnson had called was the woman in one of the selfies. Johnson is currently charged with four counts of burglary of a building.

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