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The Villages
Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Find my iPhone application helps foil thief who snatched woman’s phone

Claude Joseph Mercier
Claude Joseph Mercier

The Find my iPhone application helped foil a thief who allegedly snatched a woman’s phone at a gas station.

The woman had gone Saturday night to the Mobil gas station on U.S. Hwy. 27/441 and momentarily laid her iPhone on the counter while she was paying for her purchase, according to an arrest report from the Lady Lake Police Department. She left and about 15 minutes later she realized her iPhone was missing. She returned to the gas station, but her iPhone had vanished. The clerk remembered seeing a man inside the store at the same time the woman had been there.

The woman used her Find my iPhone application and got a ping on Sunday on Genius Court in rural Lady Lake. Law enforcement found 32-year-old Claude Joseph Mercier, who had the woman’s iPhone in his coat pocket. He had removed the sim card and the phone’s protective case.

The Utah native was arrested on a felony charge of grand theft. He was booked at the Lake County Jail and released after posting $2,000 bond.

Mercier was arrested in 2021 when he was found to be in possession of methamphetamine and heroin.

Mercier was arrested in 2020, after an attack on his lady friend who didn’t give him a spoon for his breakfast cereal.

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