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Suspected Burglar Behind Bars Thanks To iPhone App

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DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver woman says she feels like she “dodged a bullet” after thieves snuck into her house and stole her iPhone and then her car.

Sarah Fisher told CBS4 an app she has on her iPad helped her find the stolen phone quickly, and it led police to make an arrest of one of the people they believe is responsible for the crime.

On Saturday police arrested Stephanie Zawilla, 38, after the burglary at Fisher’s home.

Stephanie Zawilla (credit: Denver Police)

Stephanie Zawilla (credit: Denver Police)

The thieves crept in through the kitchen door. Fisher, her son and her boyfriend Tom Kearns were all home and only a few feet away.

“They were probably only in the house for a few moments, but the fact they were in the house is very frightening,” Kearns said.

The thieves stole Fisher’s laptop and her purse, which had her keys and her phone inside. They also took her car.

After realizing she had been robbed, Fisher got her Find my iPhone app going. The GPS tracker found the phone signal a block away on Corona Street. So she drove there and saw a man and a woman asleep in a car.

Sarah Fisher and Tom Kearns show CBS4's Tom Mustin their iPad (credit: CBS)

Sarah Fisher and Tom Kearns show CBS4’s Tom Mustin the iPad they used to track the phone. (credit: CBS)

She then called police.

“The officer knocked on his window but instead of rolling down his window, he gunned the car, backed up, hit another car and backed down a one way street,” she said.

The female passenger, later identified by police as Zawilla, was arrested with Sarah’s phone while walking a few blocks away on Logan Street. The alleged accomplice is still on the run.

Kearns said after the incident they are being much more careful.

“Keep everything locked, we are very careful and always download that Find my iPhone app,” he said.

“I just feel like we learned a really important lesson and dodged a bullet,” Fisher said.

Denver police told CBS4 they appreciate the hi-tech help, and that Zawilla’s arrest may have solved some other crimes.

“Burglars tend to be a pattern type of criminal. So if you get one burglar off the street, you’ve solved multiple crimes,” police spokesman Sonny Jackson said.

A search of arrest records shows Zawilla has a long rap sheet.

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