AUSTIN (KXAN) - Cell phones are easy to carry and easier to steal, but getting one back is another story.
A Cedar Park mom and her high school daughter are learning how difficult it can be to retrieve, even with the address of the suspected thief.
Erin Wilkes' daughter says her brand new $600 Samsung Galaxy S-4 cell phone was stolen Monday. Wilkes tracked the phone's GPS to an address in Southeast Austin, but that's when the merry-go-round began.
"The most frustrating thing to me is how I was treated by Austin police," Wilkes said. "I was given the run around."
She says APD told her the problem should go to Cedar Park police where the phone was stolen. Cedar Park police told her that particular location was the jurisdiction of Williamson County Sheriff's deputies.
Then, Williamson County authorities told her it would take a few days for a detective to get involved, and that she should check back with APD because GPS was indicating an Austin address.
APD told KXAN there was not enough probable cause to go door to door, that the GPS could be slightly off, and they needed corroborating evidence such as an eyewitness.
"I could take matters into my own hands, but then I am violating the doctrine that says they could shoot me for going on their property," Wilkes said. "I don't know that I'm willing to die for a cell phone."
Repeated calls and texts to the missing phone offering a reward went unanswered and Sprint told Wilkes the phone had not been used in any way since Monday.
"Being a Christian, I think it's in God's hands now," her daughter said. "If it ends up showing up that's great, but whoever did it, they're going to get dealt with either way."
While Wilkes waits to hear from a Williamson County deputy, she says her daughter's next phone "will be an older, cheaper model."
On Friday, Wilkes received a call from Williamson County authorities telling her a detective had been assigned to the case.
A representative from Samsung also reached out to the family after seeing the story on KXAN and offered to replace the girl's phone, free of charge.
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