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A pie and technology help track down theft suspect

Police: Suspect ate some of the evidence

Written By: Marc Stempka
Reported By; Gary Sinderson

BELLEFONTE, Pa. -- Police in Centre County used an unusual combination in their detective work to track down a man they said stole electronics, and a pastry, from a Penn State University building.

University Park Police investigated the theft of several electronic items from the Deike Building on Aug. 31. Police said Harry Nguyen, 45, of Washington, D.C., stole two iPads, laptops and a strawberry-rhubarb pie.

Police said they were able to track down Nguyen mostly through GPS, but also because of the pie.

Police said a woman who reported her iPad stolen was able to track the device through a GPS feature on her phone. When police tracked the iPad to a nearby building, they found Nguyen with the electronics, and the pie.

During Nguyens preliminary hearing Wednesday, a witness testified they recalled a pie being in the Deike Building room where the thefts occurred. When they returned to the room, the pie and the electronics were missing.

Police alleged Nguyen not only also stole the pie, but ate some of it as well, aiding them in their evidence to arrest him.

Nguyens attorney argued at the preliminary hearing that Nguyen had access to the building because it wasnt locked and he was freely able to gain access. Police said he did not have authorized access to the building.

Following the hearing, a judge ordered Nguyen to stand trial, citing the evidence showing he committed the thefts. Nguyen is being held in the Centre County Correctional Facility on $150,000 bail and is awaiting formal arraignment.

Nguyen was charged with burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and other charges, court documents showed.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times