Cops Use iPhone App to Track Alleged Baby Snatcher

By Tom Liddy on March 15, 2012 7:09pm 

A mugger near Columbia University has been targeting people with iPhones, cops say.
A mugger near Columbia University has been targeting people with iPhones, cops say.
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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

MANHATTAN — A Department of Education employee went on a rampage in Queens, choking his wife and then snatching his baby daughter, cops said, but he was caught in Manhattan as officers tracked his iPhone.

Alexis Torres, 30, faces assault, strangulation and endangering the welfare of a child charges for the alleged incident in Woodside at 6:10 p.m.

Police said that Torres and his 30-year-old wife had a fight during which he choked her. Then, he allegedly snatched the couple's 1-year-old daughter and took off.

Responding cops discovered that the suspect had an iPhone and tried to track him through the "Find My iPhone" app, which uses GPS, but the phone was off.

While he was searching the area for the suspect, Sgt. Peter Cassiere eventually locked on to the phone using the app when the phone was turned on again.

He relayed the information back to his boss, Lt. James Lombardi, who followed the suspect along with his team from Brooklyn to East 15th Street in Manhattan, across from P.S. 226, at 9:15 p.m.

Torres gave up the child without incident.

Another officer from the 104th Precinct, Maritza Mendez, fed and changed the girl, who was taken to Wyckoff Hospital for evaluation, police said.

The DOE did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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