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'Accidental click' exposes phone thieves online

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KUALA LUMPUR: The identities of a pair of thieves were revealed when one of them took a photograph using a stolen smartphone and accidentally posted it online using the victim's photo sharing account.

The phone, a Samsung Galaxy Note, was stolen from accident victim Patrick Lim Teng Yew, 20, who had crashed into a construction barricade in Jalan Shamelin, Cheras, here on Tuesday night.

It is learnt that one of the passers-by who went to Lim's aid had stolen his smartphone.

The thief subsequently passed the phone to his girlfriend, who took pictures of herself and unwittingly uploaded them on Lim's Instagram account.

Instagram is a free photo-sharing application that allows users to take pictures and apply digital filters on it before sharing it on various social networking sites.

The account was also linked to Lim's Facebook account.

Lim was shocked when a friend told him a girl had posted a photo of herself in his account.

"A day after the incident, a friend called and told me an Instagram photograph had been uploaded on my Facebook page.

"The person who took the self-portrait was a girl.

"My phone had been stolen and I do not own any other smartphone to use my Instagram any more.

"The girl had forgotten to sign out of my Instagram account," Lim said.

With the help of his friends, the photo went viral in an attempt to track down the suspects.

Lim said an anonymous woman then contacted him and revealed the girl's name, as well as her handphone number.

"The woman also led me to the girl's Facebook account.

"From there, I found out that her boyfriend was the thief.

"I recognised him as the person who helped me during the accident."

Lim said a handphone dealer contacted him on Thursday to inform him that the phone had been sold to him for RM1,000.

"He said the seller was a man. The man left immediately after receiving the money without registering his particulars."

Cheras police chief Assistant Commissioner Mohan Singh Tara Singh confirmed that a report had been lodged and added that they were close to solving the case.


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