MANCHESTER,Tenn. - A tech-savvy little boy is being credited with breaking up a multi-state theft ring. Investigators say young Landon Crabtree did it all from his home in Coffee County.
It was last week when Landon's parents told him their home had been broken into. The burglar took jewelry, electronics, power tools, cameras, and two iPads that Landon often played games on.
"They said it gotten broken into. They said I could come home if I wanted to, but I didn't want to. I lost my Playstation, most of my games for it, my iPad," said Landon.
A day later, he returned home. A few days after that, insurance allowed the family to replace the two iPads.
"He was really mad, because a lot of the stuff was his," said his mother, Kristy Crabtree.
Landon was installing his favorite games on the new iPad when he remembered one of his favorite apps, Find My iPhone.
"It tracks your iTunes accounts and whoever takes it or wherever it is, it can track down that device," he explained.
Landon's father, Richard, said that at first, he didn't understand what Landon was telling him.
"He was upstairs, and came down and was like 'Dad, I know where our iPad is'," he said. "And I'm like, 'what are you talking about?' And he comes and shows me."
The tracking app had pinpointed the location of the stolen iPads, and showed they were sitting inside a hotel room at the nearby Ambassador Inn.
"So I called the detective and let him know," said Richard. "And he called, 30, 40 minutes later and said they've got him in custody, and if I'd like to come down and take a look at some of our merchandise, they'd love to have us."
When he got there, Richard said the hotel room was filled with dozens and dozens of stolen items.
"I was in total shock, I mean just amazed," said Kristy. "That an eight-year-old could think to do something like that, and we hadn't thought of it."
Officers on the scene thanked Landon for his quick-thinking.
"They said 'good job, how'd you do it?'," he recalled. "I mean most everybody said the app worked, so I just wanted to try it out."
The suspect is a Delaware man by the name of John Docherty. Investigators believe he's connected to several break-ins in Coffee County and beyond.
He has been charged with aggravated burglary and fugitive from justice, and is due in court on April 9.
Landon's parents said they couldn't be more proud of their little boy, who said he wants to be an FBI agent when he grows up.
"That way I can solve mysteries and crimes," he said. "You don't mess with our family."