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Commissioner Praises Police After Daughter is Victimized

Montgomery County Precinct 4 Commissioner James Metts is praising the Cleveland Police Department for their swift and effective action when his daughter became a crime victim in that city. It was around 9 a.m. Thursday morning when Talina Cunningham and her teenage daughter stopped by the Cleveland Walmart to pick up a couple of items. Before entering the store, Cunningham said she texted someone and then placed her new $1,300 iPhone in a pocket on her purse.
After approximately 10 minutes in Walmart, Cunningham and her daughter checked out and left the store. When they reached their vehicle, Cunningham said she was about to call someone when she realized her phone was no longer in her purse. After briefly searching for the phone, she asked her daughter to call the phone, which confirmed it was not in her vehicle, and that it hadn’t been turned off (because it rang). Cunning then utilized the “Find My iPhone” app, which allowed her to see that the phone was in motion, and the thief appeared to be traveling to a residence in the 800 block of Plum Grove Road.
Cunningham then contacted the Cleveland Police Department and explained what had happened. An officer responded and requested a second officer to respond and remain with Cunningham’s teenage daughter, who remained at Walmart while the officer took her mom and her phone to the location where the tracking application showed the stolen phone was located. The officer and Cunningham arrived at a home where they saw a Chevrolet truck in the driveway with a woman, presumably the iPhone thief, still in the driver’s seat. The home was connected with a known criminal. The woman in the truck claimed she hadn’t seen the man. While the officer spoke with her, Cunningham was refreshing the Find My iPhone app, and saw that the phone was again in motion, but not traveling far. In fact, Cunningham said, the phone appeared to be moving between that house and a house directly behind it, on Plum Grove Circle. It was as though someone was pacing back and forth between the two residences.
Cunningham alerted the officer, who realized if the woman in the pickup had taken the phone, it was no longer in her possession. The officer returned to his patrol vehicle, and he and Cunningham drove away, as the officer instructed Cunningham to keep refreshing the app to make sure the phone remained in the vicinity. The patrol vehicle then circled back around to the residence and found the aforementioned known criminal talking with the woman who had claimed she hadn’t seen him. When they returned to the residence, with both suspects in sight, the officer opened his door and told Cunningham to call her phone.
Using her daughter’s phone to call her own phone, Cunningham began to hear a familiar sound. Her ringtone was country singer Aaron Watson’s song, Freight Train. The officer found the iPhone where it was tossed, in a sandy area on the property. The screen protector was shattered, but the iPhone was intact, and Cunningham was very relieved and grateful to the Cleveland Police Department for their response and handling of the situation, which resulted in the recovery of her phone. She attributes the theft of the phone to being busy and distracted and said the incident was a lesson learned.
Pct. 4 Commissioner James Metts, Cunningham’s father, also praised the Cleveland Police Department.
“They could easily have taken a report and told Tina they’d contact her if the phone turned up,” Metts said. “But the officer listened and took action, and as a result, my daughter’s property was recovered.”
From the call taker to the patrol officer, the Cleveland Police Department’s handling of the crime was exemplary, he said, adding that it was not special treatment, because the police were unaware Cunningham was the Commissioner’s daughter.