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Police in Italy have recorded what is thought to be the world's first conviction thanks to a tip-off using an image sent by a mobile picture phone.

Two thieves were jailed for six months last week after a shopkeeper became suspicious as they loitered outside his shop.

So concerned was the tobacconist, he snapped the two men with his new Nokia picture phone and promptly sent it to local police.

The authorities quickly realised that the two men, both in their early 20s, were wanted in connection with a series of other raids and raced round to arrest the pair.

The Mirror quotes Mario Pietrantozzi of Rome police as saying: "We believe this to be the first time in the world a picture text message has been used to help catch criminals and secure conviction." ®

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