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Cell phone app used to solve Christmas car break-in | News

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Cell phone app used to solve Christmas car break-in

GERMANTOWN, Md. (WUSA9) -- A cell phone application played a key role in finding two people Montgomery County police say stole more than $20,000 in electronics after they broke into a car on Christmas.

Casey Mulloy and Kyle Pestun, both of an unconfirmed address, were charged with theft after police say they broke into a car belonging to a man who requested only to be identified as Eric. 

At around noon on Christmas, Eric told police that his car was broken into while it was parked in the unit block of Diamond Hill Court in Germantown. Several items were reported missing, including two infrared cameras, two laptops, an iPod Nano, circuit boards and a 70-200mm camera lens. 

"I just felt hopeless, I just sat outside in the rain. I was just contemplating life. I mean what do I do at this point?" Eric said.

About two hours later, a neighbor advised Eric, an engineer who lives in Germantown, to use an app called "Offer Up" to see if the stolen goods were listed for sale. After checking the app, he saw posts that advertised some of his items for sale and contacted the person listed as the seller.

Eric told the seller he was interested in buying the goods and arranged a meeting at the Rite Aid located on Century Boulevard in Germantown. Then, he notified police about the meeting.  

At 6 p.m., officers arrived at the Rite Aid posing as potential buyers of the goods. After Mulloy, 20, and Pestun, 27, showed the officers the stolen items they were quickly arrested. 

"They parked kind of off in the distance and the two thieves approached the car and as soon as they approached the car they showed the camera and then the police just came in, just like straight out of the movies, you just see cops swarm them instantly," Eric said. 

Pestun had the iPod Nano at the time of the arrest and the officers soon located and returned the rest of the items to Eric.

"It shows you that the cops are willing to help you in any way possible in your time of need, especially on Christmas," Eric said. 

Mulloy and Pestun are each charged with one count of theft: $10,000 to under $100,000, one count of theft: less than $100, two counts of rogue and vagabond and one count of conspiracy. Mulloy was released after posting a $2,600 bond and Pestun is still being held on a $7,500 bond. 

Police believe there may be additional victims that have not reported thefts to police. Anyone that has had their vehicle broken into but has not reported it is asked to call Montgomery County police at 301-279-8000. 

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