SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — A 15-year-old Springfield teen helped police nab two suspected criminals accused of breaking into several cars Thursday.
Several Springfield residents woke up Friday morning to find their car broken in to or vandalized. For 15-year-old Jessica Gaffney, it was her mom’s cell phone that was stolen out of the front seat of their van.
“It’s really terrible this would happen right before Christmas,” she said.
So she used her own phone to try to contact the thief.
“Called it, then started to text it and he replied,” she said.
With the help of her mom Susan, she kept the conversation going.
“I knew exactly what she was typing. She wouldn’t send it before she ok’d it with me,” Susan said.
“I was just trying to play a role to where he would think, maybe I could meet up with this girl,” Jessica said.
She was able to romantically lure the person on the other end to a meeting place.
“Maybe a little flirtatious, but it was more of a Nancy Drew effect,” Susan said.
The mother and daughter team called the police who then followed through with the rest of Jessica’s plan.
“(We) went out to that location and we met them instead,” said Sgt. David Lewis, Springfield Police.
Detectives arrested a 17-year-old boy near a Dari-Mart on Main Street still in possession of that stolen cell phone.
“It’s not very smart. The person that had the stolen phone knew it was stolen and is going to meet someone who is contacting a stolen phone. I would think the first thing that would come to your mind is I wonder if they called the police but that didn’t happen,” Lewis said.
What did happen, a suspected criminal outsmarted by the very thing he allegedly stole.
“I was actually amazed that they would respond to a text,” Susan said.
“It’s nice to know that’s he’s not running loose because you don’t want this to happen again,” Jessica said.
Police ended up arresting another 17-year-old boy for the car break-ins. They say numerous items were recovered including one firearm.