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'Serial Burglars' Busted by iPhone Technology

Thousands of dollars worth of stolen property are on their way to finally being returned to multiple victims of burglary and home invasions in Hot Spring County.
It didn't scare me, it pissed me off.
MALVERN, AR -- Hot Spring County Deputies say burglaries and home invasions have been happening nonstop for the past few weeks until recently when two men were busted by a piece of technology.

Brown paper bags full of evidence inside the Hot Spring County Sheriff's Office hold thousands of dollars worth of electronics, money and even a microwave.

All of the items were confiscated during the recent arrests.

"Over the last few weeks, we've had multiple burglaries in Bismarck and the west end of the county," explained Chief Deputy Jeremy Bennett.

Bennett says the string of crimes left them impatient to catch someone.

"There was one home invasion where a gentleman was stabbed," he added. "That's a whole different level of danger."

In multiple cases, someone was home like Joy Vandeventer.

"[I heard] noises or whatever around the house," she remembered. "I just thought it was my mom."

On Sunday morning, however, she was alone and asleep in her house in Bismarck. She's nine months pregnant with a baby about ready to make its entrance into the world. Vandeventer woke up to a burglar standing in her bedroom door holding a crowbar.

"It didn't scare me, it pissed me off. I was like, I get woken up, and then he's gonna beat me with a crowbar," she laughed. "This is just not my day."

Fortunately they ran, but she remembers what they looked like.

"I saw all the details to his face, all his clothing," she said.

So when another break-in happened, and the thieves stole an iPad and iPhone, the owner was able to work with Hot Spring County Deputies to track them down using a feature of the device called "Find My iPhone."

"When we get citizens that get involved and help us solve crimes like this that's the best thing we could ask for," Bennett says.

As it turned out, the thieves Vandeventer could ID were the ones that were tracked using a device they stole.

Deputies staked out the two men, Tyler Wilhemi and Austin Seals, both 20, and tracked them down along with most of the property they stole.

"They're serial burglars is what we'll call them," Bennett says.

They hope this could lead to more arrests and a serious crack down on home burglaries in the county.

Bonds have been set at $20,000 for both Wilhemi and Seals.
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