Evanston police say a phone stolen from a car helped them arrest the alleged thief.

Police Cmdr. Tom Guenther says that officers investigating an incident in which three cars were broken into in the 1100 block of Lincoln Street Monday night learned that a cell phone stolen from one of the cars was equipped with a GPS tracking system.

Guenther says when police turned on the tracking device, they learned the phone was located at 1908 Foster St.

While talking with the homeowner there about that discovery, Guenther says, they learned that a relative of the homeowner was living in the basement and had just run from the house through the basement door.

When police activated the phone’s audible alarm, Guenther says, they heard it sounding from the basement, where they located the phone and other items believed stolen in the car breakins.

Guenther says they found the man who lived in the basement, Larry Smitty Cox, hiding in a nearby backyard.

Guenther says detectives also learned that credit cards stolen from the cell phone owner’s car had been used at a local store by another man, William Nelson Jr., who’d acted in concert with Cox to make fraudulent use of the cards.

Cox, 48, now has been charged with two felony counts of burglary to auto, one felony count of possession of stolen property and two felony counts of unlawful use of a credit card. Nelson, 49, of 1748 Brown Ave., has been charged with two felony counts of unlawful use of a credit card.

They’re scheduled to appear in Skokie district court at 9 a.m. on Oct. 26.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Leave a comment

The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *