Schenectady police say an iPhone X seized as part of an investigation into a drive-by shooting that took place last month was remotely wiped by its owner.
Police believe Juelle L. Grant, 24, of Willow Avenue, may have been the driver of a vehicle involved in an Oct. 23 drive-by shooting on Van Vranken Avenue, near Lang Street, so they obtained her phone, according to police allegations filed in court. No one was injured in the shooting.
After police took her iPhone X, telling her it was considered evidence, “she did remotely wipe” the device, according to police.
“The defendant was aware of the intentions of the police department at the conclusion of the interview with her,” say court documents.
Police arrested Grant November 2, charging her with three felonies – two counts of tampering with physical evidence and one count of hindering prosecution. One of the tampering counts applies to the iPhone wiping.
Grant allegedly drove the shooting suspect form the crime scene, helping to conceal the shooter’s identity, Police also say in doing so, she also helped remove the gun used in the drive-by.
While containers called Faraday bags are available online that block remote access to devices like iPhones, it is unknown if police had access to such bags.
Grant was arraigned and later released on $10,000 bond.
Grant’s attorney, Daniel Smalls, on Monday morning commented that Grant wasn’t involved in the shooting and that she did not wipe the phone. Grant is not a computer-savvy person, he said.
“Our position is that my client didn’t access anything to remotely delete anything,” Smalls said. “My client wouldn’t have any knowledge how to do that.”