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Thursday
Oct132011

Geotagging Memory Card Leads Owner to Stolen Camera

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Call it the case of crime-solving technology.

Months after Dr. Jeffery Plotkin’s 3D camera vanished from his chiropractic office in Canoga Park, Calif., in March, images from the camera began appearing on his computer.

Plotkin says the camera disappeared after a man came to his office inquiring about appointments. When the doctor turned around, he believes, his briefcase disappeared and with it, the $700 Fujifilm camera inside.

“I thought it was unfortunate, but I thought if this crook turns on the camera, there’s a slim chance I can get this camera back,” Plotkin told ABC News.

The slim chance came from the Eye-Fi wireless memory card inside the camera. The memory card allows users to connect to wireless networks to transmit photos from the camera directly to a home computer without connecting a cord.

Two months after the theft, pictures of men flashing gang signs began appearing on Plotkin’s computer.

“I was astounded to see these pictures coming from my camera,” he said.

The doctor turned the pictures over the LAPD gang unit in hopes of someone recognizing the men. When no one could identify them, Plotkin remembered the card was equipped with geo-location tagging. With the geo-tagging enabled, an LAPD detective was able to eventually trace the location of the camera to a house in Van Nuys, Calif., Plotkin said.

When the detective arrived at the house, the people denied any knowledge about the camera, Plotkin added.  But when he showed them the pictures sent to Plotkin’s computer, they changed their story, claiming they bought the camera from a man in a barbershop.

Police retrieved Plotkin’s camera. No arrests were made.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio