DOCUMENT: Stupid, Crime

Another Idiot Thief Tripped Up In The Cloud

Cops: Suspect took "selfie" with victim's iPhone

NOVEMBER 20--Police are searching for the California woman who allegedly robbed a high school student of her iPhone and then used the device to take a series of “selfie” photos that were automatically uploaded to the victim’s cloud storage account.

The “selfies” helped El Cerrito Police Department investigators identify Tasja Dowell, 18, as the assailant who attacked the victim earlier this month.

Cops charge that Dowell approached the El Cerrito High School student around 12:40 PM on November 5 and demanded that she hand over her phone and backpack. Dowell, police say, accosted the victim after exiting a vehicle containing several males.

When the student refused to give up the belongings, Dowell knocked her to the ground with several punches to the head. Dowell then dragged the unconscious victim “a short distance by her backpack” before fleeing in the getaway car, according to police.

The student, who was hospitalized for her injuries, told police that several days after the strong-arm robbery she discovered that “selfie” photos had been uploaded from the stolen iPhone to her cloud storage account. The woman in the “selfies,” the victim reported, was her attacker.

After seeking the public’s help in identifying the woman in the self-portraits, cops secured an arrest warrant charging Dowell with robbery and child abuse. Dowell remains at large as of Friday afternoon, said Det. Sgt. Ian Wong.

The Dowell “selfies” are the second time this year that a suspect provided police with photographic evidence of a crime.

In January, two Texas thieves were arrested after snapping celebratory photos with an iPad they swiped from a vehicle. The images, which appeared in the victim’s iCloud account, resulted in the duo’s arrest and subsequent conviction.