Photos: Thief takes selfie on stolen iPad -- or did he?

The Loveland Police Department is on the lookout for a man suspected of stealing an iPad and then taking a selfie that wound up on the iCloud account of the business from which it was snapped.

Seems like an open-and-shut case? Well, it's only been a few weeks since what was initially described as a selfie snapped by a would-be stalker who'd apparently broken into a family's home turned out to be completely innocent.

Photos and details about both incidents below.

On February 7, as we've reported, a Metro Denver Crime Stoppers alert sent to media outlets like this one sported the following images:

The item's text read:
On January 29, 2014 at about 9:20 PM while the victim was putting her children to bed the pictured male entered the victim's residence in the 3400 block of West Amherst Ave. by an unknown means and used the victim's cell phone to take this photograph of himself. The suspect is unknown to the family however he has been seen walking in the neighborhood in the past. If you can recognize this person please call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers.
Before long, this tale had made its way to Headline News Network scaremonger Nancy Grace, who declared that the image was a "textbook serial-killer's calling card." Here's a clip of the segment in question posted on Grace's official YouTube channel; it remains on online at this writing:

Turns out, however, that the man in the photo was actually mutual Facebook friends with the husband of the woman who thought her home had been invaded -- and he lives in California. The hubby thinks someone must have accidentally sent the pic to his wife while photo streaming.

Apparently, the husband didn't immediately recognize the man in the photo from the fuzzy, blurred-out shot -- nor did he or his wife realize that the background of the photo didn't actually match the house where it was supposedly snapped. As a result, the man in the pic was identified as a potential killer on national television -- and it took the better part of two weeks for the information of his innocence to reach the public via a 9News report on view below.

Keep this incident in mind in the context of the latest selfie story:

As the Fort Collins Coloradoan reports, several items were taken during a March 1 burglary at Premier Gymnastics of the Rockies, located at 1410 East 11th Street in Loveland.

Among them was an iPad. And days later, the following photo showed up on Premier's photo stream:

Did this man steal the iPad? Did he purchase it from the thief? Or did he do nothing wrong and there's another explanation for this memorable image? No telling at this point. But for now, the Loveland Police Department would like anyone who recognizes this guy to give them a shout. The contact is Officer Katey McDonald, who can be reached at 970-962-2052, extension 1147.

And remember: The star of this selfie is innocent until proven guilty.

Here's the 9News item about the earlier selfie-stalker story.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our News archive circa February 20: "Videos: Selfie-stalker allegations hyped by Denver police, Nancy Grace self-destruct."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts