Deputies: GPS tracking app helps catch felon

Photo: Frank Casera Photo source: Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office

A man who was on parole for murder in New York was arrested here in Northwest Florida for stealing a cell phone. Santa Rosa County deputies were able to crack this case by using a popular iPhone application.

According to a police report, the victim called deputies Tuesday, September 12th after she noticed her cell phone was missing. She told deputies it happened after she left it inside her vehicle while paying for gas.

One of the responding deputies asked her if she had the Find my iPhone app. "The app showed the phone to be in the area of Hemlock Drive and Rexford Street in Navarre," the deputy wrote in the report.

A deputy spoke with 54-year-old Frank Caserta, who was inside a residence on Rexford Street with the device. Exactly what Caserta told the deputies has been redacted from the report, however, he did confirm he was in the same area as the victim.

"I had dispatch call the phone and I was able to answer it with no problem and the phone was locked but it doesn't prevent anyone from answering the phone," the deputy noted. Caserta was arrested and charged with grand theft, a third degre felony.

After the arrest, deputies learned Casera had an active warrant for parole violation for murder. According to the New York Times, Caserta served nearly 30 years for that crime. The New York Post reports he violently assaulted a 50-year-old man earlier this year, stabbing him repeatedly in the face and chest.

He is currently in the Santa Rosa County Jail under a $7,500 bond.

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