The City of Key West, Florida

The Southernmost City in th Continental United States

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Keep Cell Phones Safe

Four South Florida men are in custody today thanks to the “find my phone” app on an IPhone.

Key West Police officers were called downtown around 1 a.m. Sunday morning by two women who said their phones were stolen from their purses by a man who had bumped into them while they were dancing. One of the women borrowed a friend’s phone and started pinging her phone, then called the police.

Officers found that the app showed the stolen phone moving between locations, and followed it to a gas station at the corner of North Roosevelt Blvd. and Kennedy Drive. There they found Yordan Hernandez, 33, and three other men in a black SUV. One of the victims identified Hernandez as the man who bumped into her. The vehicle’s driver, Angel Toral, 52, consented to a search in which officers discovered 14 cell phones and a SIM card pin used for retrieving SIM cards from cell phones.

Hernandez and Toral were arrested, along with Jorge Ernesto Fiorenzano, 27, and Jose Carvajal Lopez, 27. They face numerous felony charges ranging from robbery to dealing in stolen property.

After the arrest, officers began calling each phone, reconnecting the owners with their stolen property. Nine phones were returned that night. As the victims were interviewed, it became clear that each of them had a similar experience: they were dancing at various downtown establishments when their phones were taken from their person.

Cell phones are a popular target for predatory thieves, especially during one of the busiest weeks of the year when potential victims are partying en masse 

“These arrests are good reminder that there are people out there who prey upon reveling crowds,” said Chief Donie Lee. “It’s a good time to tell visitors and residents things they can do to become less of a target.”

He reminds people to keep cell phones – and wallets – close. Many predatory thieves take advantage of bar and restaurant patrons who leave a phone on a bar or counter. Women carrying purses should keep them close to their bodies and sealed. He also urges everyone to engage the “find my phone” application so that there’s a better chance of recovering a phone if it’s stolen.