Cellphone app leads to stolen car

A woman helped police crack the case of a stolen car by using an iPhone tracking app.

A woman helped police crack the case of a stolen car by using an iPhone tracking app, according to police documents.

On July 19, the woman reported to police that her car was stolen in Bellingham. She said she left the car running while she went inside a McDonald’s briefly, according to the police report.

Her phone was left inside the vehicle when it was stolen and she was able to track the phone to Pioneer Way in Oak Harbor using the Find My iPhone app. The police report states that she also said that her purse and credit cards were missing from inside the vehicle.

A responding officer was able to locate the car in Oak Harbor and processed it for evidence, according to the report.

The suspect, identified as Ethan Colson, was seen at the Oak Harbor Licensing Office where he was attempting to get his driver’s license. Upon seeing law enforcement there, he left the building via a side exit, then took his hat, sunglasses, bandana and shirt off to change his appearance, according to the report.

Colson went to Walmart and attempted to buy $495 worth of items with the stolen credit cards before being detained at the self check-out by police, the report states.

Colson told an officer he had found the stolen credit cards in front of the Oak Harbor Licensing Office, laying on the ground in front of the door. The responding officer took 10 stolen credit cards from Colson, nine of which belonged to the victim and one belonged to the victim’s mother, according to the police report.

The report states that Colson said he used one of the cards to buy gas near Deception Pass Bridge, and the officer pointed out he couldn’t have done that if he found the credit cards at the licensing office. Colson then admitted to the theft of the car and credit cards, the report states.

An Island County Superior Court judge found there was probable cause to believe that Colson had committed possession of a stolen vehicle, theft in the second degree, and identity theft and set his bail for $10,000, according to court documents.