Police: Man attacks woman, steals iPhone after car wreck

by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:

A woman beaten and robbed of an iPhone, and police said the culprit may have intentionally caused a car wreck to get to it.

LILBURN, Ga. - Police said a man who beat a woman and robbed her iPhone may have intentionally caused a car wreck to get to it.

Gwinnett County police are investigating if a man intentionally caused the incident early Sunday morning at the intersection of Lilburn-Stone Mountain and Wydella roads in Lilburn.

The attack left Sandy Born with a bruised left eye and several stitches on her forehead.

"He started hitting me on the left side of the head, just over and over and over again," Born told Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh.

Born said she was heading home when another driver began tailgating her. After about 5 miles, she said that driver struck her car from behind. The damage was so minor Born said she was going to let it go.

Police said the other driver, who they identify as Felipe Machado, had other plans.

"When I turned to walk back to my car, he jumped out of his car and started hitting me," Born said.

Investigators said they've seen the ploy before.

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"It is enough to get the victim to get out of their car usually and inspect the damage. That makes them an easy target for a robbery," said Cpl. Jake Smith with the Gwinnett County Police Department.

Police said the man stole Born's iPhone and left her bruised and bloodied. She said she went to a local grocery store for help.

"I said (to the officer), 'You know, I have an app on my phone that will help you track it.' He (the officer) immediately pulled out his phone and  said, 'Give me your passwords,'" Born said.

Born has the Find My iPhone app. Gwinnett County Police said within hours, the app led them to the Norcross Days Inn on Western Hills Drive and their suspect.

Police charged Felipe Machado with robbery, battery, hit-and-run and he's been placed on hold for immigration.

Born got her phone back and now hopes her story is a warning for others.

"If you're not in an area where there's not onlookers or traffic, I would lock the door. Call 911. You don't need to assess the damage," she said.

Police said Machado denied having Born's phone. But, they said when they dialed her number, the iPhone began ringing in his hand.


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