Canadian law enforcement officials are stumped by a case involving a teenager killed after trying to reclaim his lost mobile phone.
Jeremy Cook, 18, apparently left the smartphone in a cab over the weekend, police officials tell CBC News.
Police constable Ken Steeves of London, Ontario, told CBC News that Cook used a mobile app to trace the device to an address where he and a relative who accompanied him were “confronted by three men in a car.”
The exchange escalated, and the car began to drive off, but the police say Cook grabbed on to the driver’s door. He was shot multiple times and later died from his wounds.
The car and the phone were recovered, and investigators are now examining surveillance footage to try to piece together what happened.
Cook’s death has prompted law enforcement to urge the public to think twice about using mobile apps to track lost devices — more specifically, using them to retrieve the lost items on their own.
“The app itself is a great tool to have … but if you suspect there’s any potential for violence at all, we certainly encourage people to contact police,” Steeves told CBC News.
Sanjay Khanna, a mobile phones analyst at IDC Canada, had a suggestion for why someone would go to such lengths to retrieve a phone.
“Our attachment to our data is so strong,” Khanna told CBC News, “that it might prompt people to not be as cautious as authorities might wish us to be.”