Cell Thief: Police Arrest Man For Stealing Wal-Mart Customer's Phone

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ELYRIA, OH (WOIO) - A cell phone thief is behind bars after stealing a woman's phone from her purse at a Wal-Mart store.

A woman had been shopping at Wal-Mart on Chestnut Ridge Rd shopping when someone picked her cell phone out of her purse.

The woman returned to her vehicle and told her husband about the theft and the husband went right into action.

The victim's husband, Dave, texted the phone stating that the phone has a GPS and the police can track the phone.

The suspect responded, "Then where am I". Dave texted that he just wanted the phone back then offered a reward of $50.00.

The suspect responded that if he was serious about the reward he would give it back. The suspect instructed Dave to meet at Cascade Park.

Dave contacted the police to advise them of the suspect trying to extort him out of money for his own phone.

Officer Moss and Kerecz had Dave go to Cascade Park and they followed taking a position out of sight. When the suspect approached Dave's vehicle the officers approached and identified the suspect as James Trill. Trill was asked about the phone and he stated that it was in his right pocket. Officer Moss removed the phone and confirmed it to be the stolen phone.

Trill stated that he found the phone on the ground in Wal-Mart then changed his story and stated that his niece found the phone. He stated that he couldn't be arrested because he was offered a reward. Officer Moss showed him the text messages where he clearly was taunting Dave about not being able to be located and only agreeing to return the phone if he was given the $50.00.

Trill was placed in custody and transported to the station where he was released to Corrections. Dave came on station and signed an affidavit for RSP against Trill. The cell phone is a new black in color Samsung Instinct that retails for $500.00.

While entering the police department Officer Moss was approached by Trill's mother and other family members who began screaming at Officer Moss for arresting Trill. They stated that he found the phone and no one ever turns in stuff that they find.

Officer Moss tried to explain that keeping the phone and only agreeing to return the property to the owner if they gave them $50.00 was illegal.

The mother and other female then called Officer Moss several vulgar names and they were ordered to leave the area and cease their conduct.

They left the area still calling Officer Moss names.

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