Father And Son Track Down Alleged Thief Using ‘Find My iPad’ Feature

Find-My-iPad

A New Zealand father-and-son duo tracked down their stolen iPad using the device’s “Find My iPad” function.

After enjoying a meal in a restaurant in Nelson, New Zealand, Chris and Markham Phillips returned to the parking lot to find their car had been ransacked — and cash, glasses and an iPad were missing.

“As despair and disgust begin to kick in, we remember a newly installed tracking application on both the stolen iPad and the retained iPhone,” son Markham told a local reporter. “We fire up the app [and] the iPad icon pings onto the map.”

The iPhone located the stolen iPad in a nearby suburb. The pair set off to get their iOS device back — calling police on the way.

The Find my iPad feature apparently led the Phillips to a house “full of suspicious, sunglass-wearing scoundrels” — one of whom ended up escaping in a black BMW. At this point, the iPad appeared to be turned off and no longer tracking.

Thinking quickly, the Phillips set the iPad to “lost” mode and sent a message to the device reading, “It’s a small town. We’ve seen you, your car, and your friends. Drop the bag and iPad at Countdown by the Warehouse by 5pm tomorrow and we’ll leave the cops out of it”.

Somewhat miraculously, they ended up getting the iPad back — although police wound up arresting the alleged thief, who has since been remanded into custody.

“The fact that technology allows us and affords us to track our own stolen property is fantastic,” said police Sgt. Jo Managh. “It helped us locate and recover it back to the victim.”

This isn’t the first time Apple’s location-tracking technology has helped collar criminals. Late last year, the Find My Mac function on a MacBook Air led to the arrest of two murder suspects wanted in connection with a fatal shooting.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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