PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Police tracked down and arrested a man suspected of robbing a shop clerk and hotel guest using the victims’ Apple devices to follow his whereabouts across Portland.
According to the Portland Police Bureau, the incident started when officers responded to a reported armed robbery around 12:30 p.m. Thursday near Northwest Broadway and Couch Street.
The victim told police a man had came in the store where he works, pointed a gun at him and demanded money. After the victim showed the man the empty cash register, police said, he took his wallet and iPhone instead.
Using the stolen iPhone and surveillance videos from TriMet and local businesses, officers then tracked the suspect to the Embassy Suites hotel at Southwest 3rd Avenue and Pine Street. Footage showed him enter the hotel but then leave again.
Just before 5 p.m., hotel security called to report the suspect was back but when officers tried to contact him, he disappeared into the hotel again and a fire alarm was tripped, PPB said. Police went to the area and found a fake pistol on the fire escape.
Shortly thereafter, police said a guest in the hotel reported someone had broken into his room and stole some of his belongings, including a backpack with an AirTag attached to it. Officers again tracked the suspected thief but this time into North Portland.
A Multnomah County Sheriff’s deputy and PPB officers found the man with the backpack and tried to stop him, but he again tried to run, police said. The man, identified as 39-year-old Justin Lee Johnston, was eventually arrested near the corner of North Minnesota Avenue and Jarrett Street.
He has been charged with second-degree robbery and first-degree burglary.