Phone Thief Joins D-illiteracy Hall of Fame

This month’s Digital Illiteracy Hall of Fame winner is 26-year-old Korey Heess of Monterey, CA. Heess, a small-time crook, earned his place of dishonor by snatching a woman’s purse and then using her smartphone to take a photo of himself in a full-length mirror. In the process, he failed to realize that the photo sharing app on the phone was set to automatically upload pictures to the woman’s photo sharing website.

According to the Police Department in Salinas, CA, the victim saw the photo on her Photobucket account and immediately realized she did not know the person and the photo had been taken after her purse was stolen. She notified the police who distributed the image to the media. Within an hour tips came in that led to identifying Heess. It turned out that Heess was wanted on charges related to stealing purses from three different victims.

He was booked in the Monterey County Jail for petty theft, grand theft, robbery, theft from an elder and an outstanding warrant.

Ed. Note: Given that taking a self portrait on a stolen camera is probably a bad idea to begin with, it nevertheless would have been a simple task to detect and disable the auto-upload feature. Alas, the perp was not familiar with the phone’s feature set.

Literacy 2.0 does not consider educating criminals against self-incrimination as part of its publishing mission, but it wishes to thank Mr. Heess for providing a valuable lesson to law abiding digital citizens that digital literacy is a vital skill-set in the 21st century and that if you carry a loaded smartphone, you’d better know how to use it.



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