Phone app leads to 4-year prison term - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Phone app leads to 4-year prison term

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Sandra Jackson (Source: CBS 5 News) Sandra Jackson (Source: CBS 5 News)
"Lookout" phone app (Source: CBS 5 News) "Lookout" phone app (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

You hear a lot about new smartphone apps and the things they can do. Few of them, if any, have ever been directly responsible for sending people to jail.   

A security app on a Phoenix woman's phone led cops to the man who robbed her just 24 hours after it happened.

Sandra Jackson just moved to Phoenix from Kansas City. After only being in town a few months a man robbed her right in the parking lot of her apartment complex.

"He told me to give him my purse or he was going to 'smoke me'," said Jackson.

The thief took the $4 she had in her purse and Jackson's cell phone. Sandra had a secret weapon, though, that would bust this bandit. She had installed an app called "Lookout" on her Samsung Android powered phone.

Jackson originally got the app because if you lose your phone you can go to a computer and tell your phone to start emitting a siren noise so you can find it.

In this case, if someone incorrectly enters the unlock combination on your phone three times the app springs into action.

"I had four emails from the Lookout app. Three of them said, uh oh, someone has tried to access your device," said Jackson.

After those three unsuccessful attempts to gain access to the phone, the device secretly takes a picture of the person trying to hack in and emails you that picture and their exact GPS location.

Armed with this information, Sandra brought it all straight to the cops.

"He did confess to everything with the detective. He said he did it because of his daughter. He wrote me an apology letter," said Jackson. "That app led to his conviction. That was a parole violation for him. So he is serving four years in the state penitentiary all because I had that app on my phone."

The Lookout app is available for both Android and Apple IOS powered devices. It also has virus scanning features.

The app is free, but there are additional features users can pay for upgrades.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.