The arrest of six men for the burglary of a motorcycle dealer in Vanderburgh County helped cyber crimes experts lead to a broader criminal operation, and the Vanderburgh County Cyber Crime Task Force is getting props from federal agents for cracking the codes.
Back in May of 2021, six men were busted for breaking into a Harley-Davidson dealer in Evansville. When they were arrested their phones were seized as evidence and given to the task force to try and bust into.
Jessica Powers, the director of the task force, says they were able to break through each phone’s security passcodes in a matter of days, which she says is a process that usually takes months.
“This was huge,” Powers said. “This was really big to be able to brute force those passcodes and to be able to get into those phones.”
Once they were in, Powers said they discovered tons of evidence that linked the six men to a motorcycle gang in St. Louis. Because of the new evidence on the phones, the gang is now connected to several other burglaries of motorcycle dealers across the United States.
In all the gang is said to have stolen over a million dollars worth of motorcycles and merchandise.
Powers said with the techniques the task force learn from the National Computer Forensic Institute, they have been able to move a lot quicker in getting evidence off of locked phones and computers.
“Think about anything you do on your phone, we can get access too,” she said. “So, it’s kind of scary sometimes. But, if you think about it, pictures, videos, text messages, everyone is carrying around a computer in their pocket, and that computer holds a lot of potential evidence.”
The task force was given an award by the Secret Service Indianapolis Field Office Tuesday.