The Daily Apocrypha
The Award-Winning Source for Apocryphal News Saturday, January 25

Cellular Confusion at Detective Convention

Cincinnati, Ohio--Confusion reigned at the Technology in Detection Seminar at the North Avaline Convention Center today, as hundreds of detectives and law enforcement agents attempted to sort through a trash bin containing hundreds of cellular phones belonging to the seminar participants.

The convention center managers were at a loss for an explanation as to how the cellular phones, which had been individually checked and tagged at the property area of the center, were removed from the locked property room, stripped of their identifying tags, and dumped in the plastic trash cart.

The phones were discovered missing at the afternoon lunch break, and a search was made of the center facilities. Officials credit Detective Amelia Gatewell of Newark, New Jersey with the idea of having the cellular service providers ring 50 of the phones at the same time. The ringing of the missing phones was heard in the corridors of the convention center's maintenance area, and a bewildered janitor wheeled the trash cart, phones still ringing, into the convention center lobby.

Center officials are still working on returning each cellular phone to its rightful owner. "Most of the equipment was turned over to law enforcement after being confiscated in drug deals," said Robert Jakarty-Smith, one of the seminar organizers. "Those items don't have serial numbers; the drug dealers usually scrape them off . So how do you determine whose cellphone is whose? Simple. You call their number, and find the ringing phone."

Over half the cellular phones had been returned to their owners as of 5 PM this afternoon.

Reported by the Daily Apocrypha News Staff. All rights reserved. © 1998.

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