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Stolen iPad helps locate Christmas Day burglary suspect

December 27, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Dozens of stolen Christmas gifts were recovered, and a burglary suspect was arrested, all thanks to an iPad tracking program.

Westlake Island may be a gated community, but that didn't keep a Christmas morning burglar from breaking into a home.

Ken Gootnick woke up around 3 a.m. to find the man hiding in his closet.

"He got out of the closet and started running down the stairs, yelling, and I was following him out, and he ran out the back door," Gootnick said.

The burglar stole several items from the home, including Gootnick's iPad - an iPad sporting a tracking program called Find My iPad. The app showed that his iPad was just a few houses away.

L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy Dustin Morales went to investigate, and in the meantime, Gootnick used the tracking program to set off an alarm on his missing iPad.

"I asked the suspect, 'What is that noise that I'm hearing? Because it sounds like an alert.' And he said, 'Oh, it's my cellphone,'" Morales said.

The deputy had the suspect sit while he looked around.

"As I'm looking for his cell phone, I locate the iPad and the other objects that were taken from the residence," Morales said.

Investigators arrested 20-year-old Patrick Krewson of the San Diego area, who was visiting relatives for the holidays.

After looking around the house, detectives learned Krewson had burglarized another home as well - one at his neighbor's house in Vista, California, where he lives.

"Looking under the tree, all the presents that I had just wrapped the night before were gone," said burglary victim Jennifer Smith.

Smith said she then realized her flat-screen TV was missing, and her children's room had been destroyed.

Authorities say Krewson confessed to the Vista burglary, and all of Smith's missing presents were found at the Westlake Village home where Krewson was staying.

The items were returned to Smith and her kids in time for Christmas.

Krewson has been booked on burglary charges, with bail set at $50,000.

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