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ecoATM helps SFPD catch jogger robber

By Mike Aldax

July 3, 2013

A crook who robbed a jogger of her iPhone along The Embarcadero last month was caught after using an ecoATM at Westfield San Francisco Centre. The machine exchanges phones for cash but not without the seller's identification, according to police.

The robbery occurred June 11 when the jogger reported being accosted near The Embarcadero and Brannan Street and robbed of her iPhone 4.

Police searched the area but couldn't find the suspect. However, Southern Station inspectors later traced the stolen phone's serial number to the ecoATM at Westfield mall.

The ecoATM is where electronics can be recycled for cash without an attendant. Police call it an "electronic pawnshop." In order to use the machine, identification must be provided.

The crook provided his ID while using the machine about 20 minutes after robbing the jogger, police said. After finding out he lives in San Bruno, inspectors went to his home on June 23 and found the suspect in his front yard.

The suspect, who was on active felony probation for a prior carjacking conviction, was booked into County Jail on several felony charges, according to police.


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