AJ Oliveira is from Brazil. He moved to Torrance, California with his pregnant wife and two young daughters.
Oliveira said he is a musician and performs to earn money for his family. He arrived with his family on April 9. Three days later the unthinkable happened.
Oliveira says a good friend lent him their car and a guitar so he could start performing, but that Monday night he parked his car in his controlled garage. his apartment after a show and left the device in the car so he could put the kids in bed upstairs.
He was about to take out the device but ended up falling asleep. The next morning, the car was gone.
According to Oliveira, the equipment in that car was worth more than $4,000. His wife’s passport, inside the car, was also stolen. He immediately called the police.
Oliveira reviewed surveillance footage of his apartment, and found a man and a woman who he said had stolen the vehicle.
Police and Oliveira are trying to locate the vehicle.
“He asked, ‘Is there a tracking device in the car that we can ride? ‘ and I said, ‘no, there’s no tracking device that I know of,’ and then I said, ‘oh!’ And it flashed, my iPad was in the car,” Oliveira said.
Using Apple’s “Find My” feature, Oliveira and detectives were able to track the vehicle’s location to the city of Lawndale, but his device was still missing, no longer inside it.
Oliveira said he couldn’t just sit back and wait, so he called music stores to warn him that his device had been stolen and that someone might be trying to sell it.
He said he contacted Guitar Center headquarters, where he inquired about his speaker, which he said is worth more than $1,000.
“He said, ‘ah, we have one but it’s in Lawndale.’ He was like, ‘you have to call that store,'” Oliveira said.
Oliveira called and found his speaker, which he got it back, but warned the store manager that the suspects might try to go back and sell the rest of his gear – and that’s what happened.
“The Torrance detectives continued their investigation to identify the suspect and were informed by Guitar Center later that day that a suspect was attempting to sell some more stolen musical equipment,” the police department said. Torrance police said in a statement to Eyewitness News. “In support, LASD deputies responded and arrested the probable suspect.”
Officials say that on April 13, detectives were able to connect a female suspect in custody to the stolen vehicle incident. Torrance police did not identify the suspect, but said she was jailed for Theft and Theft.
“I felt terrible. I felt paranoid,” said Oliveira. “I feel like it’s a stain on the beautiful image I’ve had of the South Bay and Torrance.”
Oliveira’s determination helped him recover most of his equipment, but his friend’s guitar was still missing. He is starting a GoFundMe to raise money back to his friend.
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https://abc7news.com/find-my-device-stolen-car-theft/11755508/ Musician AJ Oliveira, uses ‘Find My’ device to locate iPad, track stolen car and recover $4K stolen music device