Stolen iPad Helps Save Christmas For Two Families



Happy Children with Recovered Gifts (photo: L.A. County Sheriff Department)

A potentially sad story of a holiday gone wrong has a happy ending – two actually – thanks to a stolen iPad and some efficient police work. A homeowner in southern California heard some noises in his home at 3:30AM on Christmas Eve, only to find that the visitor wasn’t Santa.

LA Weekly reports that a burglar broke into a Westlake Village home and stole one family’s Christmas gifts, including an iPad which had already been activated. The homeowner chased the thief, later identified as Patrick Krewson, out of the house but lost him in the neighborhood. However a few hours later the man was able to locate his iPad just a few houses away – presumably via Find My iPad – and notified police.

When police arrived they found the homeowner’s stolen iPad and other items, and were able to link Krewson to another holiday theft incident a few days earlier in his own hometown of Vista, CA. A subsequent search of Krewson’s home by San Diego County police turned up the items reported stolen: two flatscreen TVs, a laptop, and about forty gifts intended for children.

The second happy family was notified that their gifts had been found and Krewson was held on $50,000 bail. According to the L.A. County Sheriff Department report:

When Malibu/Lost Hills deputies notified the Vista victim that her Christmas presents had been located in time to give them to the children for Christmas, she began to cry. One of the cooperating parties involved in the investigation said to Malibu/Lost Hills Deputy Frank Brower upon hearing about the recovered gifts, “Deputy Brower, you saved Christmas!”

Hollywood couldn’t write one better than this.

[via MacNN]

  • recyclops117

    Lesson to all criminals? Dont steal apple products, because its highly likely that they have find my iphone.

  • Steve Noyce

    Poor Grinch thinking he can ruin Christmas. Luckily, Steve saved him from above with his magic in the devices lol.

  • MacRat

    There’s information missing here.

    What gave the police the authority to find the items in the home? My first guess is that the suspect was ID’ed when he answered the door if the police had the witness with them. 

    Most judges don’t consider iOS tracking to be “probable cause” for a search warrant.

  • Andreas Booher

    Depends on how detailed the tracking info is.  If the tracking narrows it down to within a couple of feet inside of a single residence then it is likely to count as probably cause.  If, however, the tracking only narrows it down to a broad circle that covers multiple homes a judge will most likely not grant a warrant.

  • coatstand

    Good thing they were able to apprehend the criminal. A happy ending indeed.

  • Anthony M Perez

    More like “Find the Douchebag” :)

  • AriRomano

    I guess in germany, the tracking would violate the personal rights of the thief who, until found guilty by a judge, must be presumed innocent. So tracking the thief would be an illegal act by the owner :D

  • fairfaxmom

    The tracking can narrow it down to the section of the house the iPad or iPhone is in.  I have tested it out using my own iPad.