iPhone app, homeowner video lead police to 3 arrests

Thumbnail for July 20, 2014 Astor Park vehicle break-in surveillance video ReportIt

GREEN BAY - Green Bay police say some people living in the city's near-east side may want to check their cars. Three people have been arrested for stealing from vehicles.

According to police, the suspects admitted to entering about 40 unlocked cars Saturday night and Sunday morning. However, police say only 12 victims have come forward so far.

The break-ins were reported in the area from E. Mason St. to Grignon St. and from S. Webster Ave. to the East River.

Police say the suspects were caught on camera by Rachel Dean. Dean says she woke up Sunday morning and looked outside her home on S. Irwin Ave.

"I saw that our rear van door was open, which was odd," said Dean.

Dean and her husband then checked their surveillance camera system. In the video, two of the suspects can be seen trying to enter a car before moving toward a van.

"They rifled through the glove compartment, took out owner's manuals, insurance information, things like that," said Dean. "Our binoculars were taken."

Green Bay Police Lt. Jeff Brester says that video was not the only evidence.

"One of the victims had an iPhone taken, and she used the app called 'Where's my iPhone,' and she was able to find coordinates of where the phone was located," said Brester. "She called the police. We went to that residence, recovered her phone and arrested a suspect there."

Police arrested three people Sunday and Monday: 18-year-old Joseph Ray; 17-year-old Cameron Kellner; and 18-year-old Keng Yang. They have all been charged with multiple counts of theft.

FOX 11 told neighbors about the break-ins and showed the surveillance video.

"Oh yeah, that's a neighbor's car down the street," said Ryan Osborne.

Osborne lives a block away from the Dean's house.

"I did not notice anything missing, but also it does kind of worry me because I do keep my doors unlocked," he said.

Osborne says now he'll be locking his doors.

Meanwhile, Dean says she thought her van door was locked.

"Sometimes you're unaware that your property isn't as secure as you think it is," she said.

People who believe something may be missing from their car can call Green Bay Police at 448-3200.

Dean sent the surveillance video to FOX 11 through the ReportIt feature.