BASALT, Colo. (CBS4) – Two men suspected of robbing a home and pulling a gun on the homeowner are now under arrest. Their big mistake was stealing a smartphone.

The home invasion was last Wednesday in Basalt on the Western Slope.

The simple feature on the victim’s iPhone not only got her phone back, but also more than $40,000 worth of jewelry.

“We’ve actually never had one, to my knowledge, in the history of our town. We’ve never had anything like this occur here,” Sgt. Stewart Curry with the Basalt Police Department said.

Police believe it was likely a burglary gone wrong and the two suspects, Michael Hawkins and James Ward Jr., didn’t think anyone would be home when they robbed the home. They encountered a 75-year-old woman inside.

“They pulled a gun on her and robbed her,” Curry said.

Michael Hawkins and James Ward Jr. (credit: Basalt Police Department)

Michael Hawkins and James Ward Jr. (credit: Basalt Police Department)

From inside the house they took a $20,000 Rolex watch and a $24,000 sapphire and diamond ring. But the suspects likely wouldn’t have been caught if it wasn’t for the victim’s son, who traced the stolen iPhone using its GPS all the way back to Rifle, and then Parachute, more than 65 miles away from where the crime took place.

“We all watched and looked as the dot was moving and they were tracking it and were able to track it to a residence in Parachute,” Curry said.

The suspects were arrested at Ward’s Parachute home. Inside officers found the missing jewelry and iPhone.

Hawkins has another arrest for burglary out of Glenwood Springs. Now both the men will spend some time at the Eagle County Jail for the crime in Basalt, but investigators said they’re looking into a few other burglary cases around the Roaring Fork Valley that could be linked to the suspects.


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