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UPDATE: Victim hopes video will help with ID in iPad theft

Family reports deputies recovered iPad

Posted: January 4, 2013 5:29 p.m.
Updated: January 4, 2013 7:19 p.m.
A man is shown holding an iPad in line at Subway. A 9-year-old girl left it on the counter while ordering.    A man is shown holding an iPad in line at Subway. A 9-year-old girl left it on the counter while ordering.   
<p>A man is shown holding an iPad in line at Subway. A 9-year-old girl left it on the counter while ordering. </p><br /><br /><p> </p><br /><br /><p> </p>

A 9-year-old Valencia girl who had her iPad stolen while buying a sandwich with her mother now has her stolen iPad back, her father confirmed late Friday.

Detectives with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station reportedly called the man’s wife Friday afternoon to say they had recovered the stolen handheld device, he said.

“They did recover it,” said Fritz, who asked that only his first name be used.

“They called my wife and said they were able to recover the iPad,” he said. “She picked it up this afternoon.”
No word was left with the family about the man who stole the device, he added.

Fritz, his wife and their daughter have faith that restaurant surveillance footage he copied with a cell phone would enable detectives to apprehend the thief, as well as recover the iPad.

As of Friday at 7 p.m., no word was left with Fritz or his family about the man who stole the device, which was recovered undamaged, he said.

“I have no idea,” Fritz said when asked about the thief.

Deputy Josh Dubin sent an email to The Signal late Friday afternoon stating: “I believe they know who the suspect is. ... The case is very close to being solved.”

In the surveillance video of the crime, the girl is seen with her mother standing at the food counter of the Subway restaurant on Seco Canyon Drive at Copper Hill Drive when she puts the device on the counter.

As she moves down the counter toward the cash register, she picks condiments for her sandwich but fails to retrieve her iPad, according to playback of the restaurant’s surveillance footage as recorded by the girl’s father on a cell phone.

The theft is clearly captured by Subway’s camera when a portly man follows her in line at the food counter, picks up the device, stores it briefly on the rack of potato chips below the counter, then stuffs it under his shirt.

“My wife and daughter were at the Subway restaurant and they were standing in line to order food,” Fritz said.

“She (his daughter) put it on the counter and when they go forward, he (the alleged thief) pulled the iPad to himself then he pulled it down to the lower level where the chips are,” he said.

“He clearly takes it.”

Fritz said he bought the device three months ago as a birthday gift for his wife, who then gave the device to their daughter.

In an earlier interview, Capt. Paul Becker of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said such thefts are part of a noticeable local trend.

In a story reporting October crime statistics for the Santa Clarita Valley, it was revealed that deputies responded to 102 incidents of robbery in 2012 compared to 80 over the same time period last year, up more than 27 percent.

In at least 58 of the reported robberies this year, local deputies identified or arrested the robber, Becker said at the time.

“These are not the gun-in-your-face type of robberies,” he said. “Many of them involve someone grabbing a cell phone or iPad and running.”

View video of the theft here:
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt






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