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updated 8/24/2011 12:18:54 PM ET 2011-08-24T16:18:54

If you're going to steal someone's purse, you probably shouldn't take a picture of yourself doing so and send it to the police.

That action is essentially what landed Korey Heess in cuffs. Heess, 26, had allegedly snatched three purses between July 20 and Aug. 9 in Salinas, Calif. But it wasn't until he stole one woman's bag and accidentally took a picture of himself on the stolen iPhone that his crime spree began to unravel.

When Heess snapped the photo, what he didn't know was that the victim used a mobile app offered by her photo-sharing service, Photobucket, that automatically uploads pictures to the company's website, Computerworld reported.

When the woman logged into her Photobucket account shortly after the phone was stolen, she noticed a shot of a man with a goatee and earrings, and recognized him as the purse snatcher.

"She looks at Photobucket and says, 'I've never taken this picture, this is the guy who stole my phone,'" Salinas police department commander Terry Gerhardstein told Computerworld.

Police then took the lead, broadcasting the man's photo on a local TV station. Callers quickly responded and identified Heess as the robber.

Heess was arrested at 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 23, and booked on suspicion of petty theft, grand theft, robbery, theft from an elder and an outstanding warrant, police told The Salinas Californian.

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