Data From Smartwatch Help Investigators Solve The Case Of The Stabbing That Never Happened
from the regular-wikipedia-browns-these-guys dept
Once again, another crime has been solved with the help of smart devices that shows “going dark” is mainly just an FBI product it’s having trouble moving in such a sunshine-y market.
A 26-year-old man faked his own stabbing at the West Bloomfield synagogue where he worked and then reported he was attacked because of his Jewish faith, authorities say.
Now Sean Samitt is facing a felony charge of filing a false police report, according to West Bloomfield Police.
Samitt claimed to have been attacked while leaving work at the Temple Kol Ami. Supposedly the attackers stabbed him while yelling things about “you Jews” and “too many immigrants.” Investigators were unable to find a weapon, blood, or any other evidence of the crime in the parking lot that Samitt claimed the attack took place.
What they were able to find was a security camera attached to a house across the street that captured the crime that never happened. When they confronted Samitt with this, his story changed. He hadn’t actually been hate crimed. Instead, he claimed he had passed out (due to an unnamed health condition) while doing dishes at the synagogue.
He then claimed that this was kind of a hate crime as well, because he had been “harassed” about his medical condition at the synagogue and felt compelled to create a cover story for his inability to do dishes without losing consciousness.
Sometimes the best surveillance is the surveillance we inflict upon ourselves.
Officers were able to obtain information from Samitt’s cellphone health application that was synced to his Apple Watch, confirming he did not lose consciousness. Samitt then admitted to intentionally stabbing himself.
A wealth of data about people’s lives is generated daily by anyone carrying a smartphone or wearing a smartwatch. Device encryption is only preventing investigators from seeing a very small slice of that. Almost every third party app generates records law enforcement can obtain from developers or in the multiple clouds storing data and communications. The few communication options that are completely locked down may impede a handful of investigations. But for the most part, law enforcement is coming out ahead in the so-called tech war, years after device encryption became a standard offering.