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Cell phone data analysis dials in crime networks

New program mines mobile provider records for incriminating patterns

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6:16pm, March 19, 2013

Sometimes not picking up the phone can be as incriminating as spilling the beans on a wiretapped call. After a recent string of robberies in Italy, a new forensic tool that makes it easy to explore reams of cell phone data revealed an incriminating pattern: Leading up to and after each robbery, there were flurries of calls between members of a gang suspected in a series of gun thefts, car thefts and supermarket stickups. But in the end, it was silence that betrayed the gang: There were no calls during the minutes when the crimes were being committed.

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