Victim of Car Theft Finds iCloud Video of Teens Hotboxing the Car
After discovering the hotboxing video on their iCloud, Tiana Le and Toai tran uploaded it to Facebook, where the mother of one of the teens eventually saw it.
It was several days after Tiana Le and her husband Toai Tran came home to find their home burglarized that they calmed down enough to finally check out their vacation photos. The couple had been on vacation in Hawaii. And when they returned to their San Jose, California home on February 10, they found it completely destroyed. Their black BMW convertible was also missing from the driveway. For days, police had no leads. But flipping through his vacation shots, Tran found a mysterious video on his phone. A video of three teen girls hotboxing the stolen car.
Video of Teen Burglars’ Hotboxing Joyride in a Stolen BMW Appears in Victim’s iCloud Photos
Tiana Le and Toai Tran knew something was up the moment they got home from their Hawaiian vacation. But when they saw their ransacked bedroom, with purses and clothes and empty jewelry boxes strewn everywhere, they knew they were the victims of a burglary. Their missing black BMW convertible, no longer sitting in the driveway, confirmed it. Le and Tran called the cops. But they got the impression police weren’t going to do much.
Several days later, Tran decided to finally check out his vacation photos on iCloud. But nestled in with the timeline of all the pictures of leis, beaches, volcanos and tropical foliage was a strange video from back home. “I find there’s this random video that’s on my phone of three girls smoking weed in my car, on my iPad!” Tran told ABC7 News.
Tapping play on his phone, Tran watched a video of three young women smoking weed, throwing money around and listening to music. It’s a joyride hotbox, and it looks like a good time. At one point in the video, Tran’s wife Le spots her wallet, proving it’s the couple’s BMW. The teens apparently recorded their experience on Tran’s iPad, which they stole from the house. iCloud took care of the rest.
Hotbox Joyride Video Goes Viral, Busting Teen Burglars
Instead of simply notifying police of the video, however, Tran and Le decided to launch their own investigation. So they uploaded the video of the teens hotboxing the BMW to Facebook. Before long, it had more than 60,000 views. And one of those viewers was the mother of one of the hotboxing teens herself.
A friend who recognized one of the young women in the video sent it to the young woman’s mother. “Liz, I think this is your daughter,” the Facebook message read. Elizabeth, who isn’t revealing her full name, watched the video and knew instantly that it was “definitely her” daughter.
The next time Elizabeth watched the video, she made sure her daughter was standing next to her. Her response is total shock. “I was like, how did that get out?” Elizabeth’s 16-year-old daughter said. The young woman denies taking part in any burglary or theft. But she definitely admits its her in the video smoking weed and throwing cash around.
With her daughter’s confession, Elizabeth sent a message to Tran and Le on Facebook, apologizing and asking them to go easy on her daughter. “Please be lenient with my child because I know she did a bad thing and I am not happy about that,” Elizabeth wrote online. Tran and Le haven’t responded. And San Jose police say the investigation into the burglary and BMW theft is open and ongoing.