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August 02, 2003

Cell Phone Camera Technology at Work

This is one sharp kid:

Boy uses cell phone camera to implicate suspect who tried to abduct him

CLIFTON, N.J. (AP) — A 15-year-old boy foiled an apparent abduction attempt when he pulled out his cell phone camera and snapped photos of a man trying to lure him into a car, police said.

The teen also photographed the vehicle's license plate and gave the evidence to police, who arrested a suspect the next day.

"It's surprising the kid had the presence of mind to use the technology under duress," Detective Capt. Robert Rowan told The Record of Bergen County in Friday's editions.

The teen, whose name was not released by police, was walking home at about 7 p.m. Tuesday when a man, later identified by police as William MacDonald, pulled up beside him, Rowan said.

He offered to drive the boy to another town to look for girls, and then began "engaging in a sexually explicit conversation," Rowan said. The teen told him he wasn't interested, but MacDonald, 59, continued to follow him.

At that point, the boy took the pictures, and MacDonald got out of his car and grabbed him by the arm, Rowan said. A struggle followed, but the boy was able to break free and run away.

MacDonald was charged with attempting to lure a juvenile into a car, criminal restraint and simple assault. If convicted, he could face up to five years in state prison. He is being held on $25,000 bail.

A spokeswoman for Sprint, whose phone the boy used, said she had never heard of someone using the new technology to catch a criminal. There is, of course, other uses for phones cameras. This is one.

- posted by Mad Jayhawk and Seven @ 8/02/2003 12:26:00 PM    |

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