Find My iPad leads police to gang of armed robbers

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iPad mini is the weak link in Apple's tablet business.
Gang will have plenty of time to think about their mistakes behind bars.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

From reuniting families separated by a California wildfire to tracking down kidnapping victims, there are plenty of high drama stories concerning Apple’s location-tracking Find My iPhone/iPad feature for iOS.

Well, you can add one more to the list — as police in Bangkok recently captured a violent armed gang responsible for a string of vicious robberies in the country’s northern region — all thanks to their ill-advised decision to steal an iPad mini with the feature enabled.

Criminal mastermind celebrates iPad theft with a victory selfie

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iPad mini is the weak link in Apple's tablet business.
Presumably he'll have lots of time to play with his iPad in prison.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

So you’ve just successfully stolen an iPad and are now pondering your next move. Do you A) Not switch it on and sell it for cash as soon as humanly possible, or B) Play around on it, while making sure to snap a few celebratory selfies to commemorate the occasion?

If you voted “A” then, congratulations, you’re already a smarter class of criminal than 19-year-old Ralphy Olivero of Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

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

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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.”

How To Enable Activation Lock On Your iPhone And iPad [iOS Tips]

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Make sure you have this turned on. But how?!

Activation Lock is a new feature in iOS 7 that allows you to remotely wipe all the data on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch in case it gets lost or stolen. It’s such a great idea that 78 percent of iPhone users have it enabled.

After Activation Lock is enabled remotely, your iPhone will display a message for you with details on how to return it to you. This is a great feature.

When you get the device back, all you need to do is enter your Apple ID (and password!), and your iPhone or iPad will reactivate, give you a fully functional iOS device again without letting anyone else use it in the meantime.

But where the hell do you enable this feature?

iPads Continue To Vanish At The Airport Thanks To Thieving TSA Officers

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Lose a black MacBook at JFK airport? Sean Henry might have it.
Was your iPad mini stolen at JFK airport? Sean Henry might have it.

A TSA agent caught stealing iPads and numerous other electronic devices was arrested this week following a sting operation at New York City’s John F. Kennedy Airport. Sean Henry, 32, joins the growing list of TSA workers who have been accused of stealing from passengers as they pass through airport checkpoints across the United States.

Find My iPad Catches Thieving TSA Officer Red-Handed [Video]

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Had valuable items stolen at the airport? The TSA could be behind it.
Had valuable items stolen at the airport? The TSA could be behind it.

Stories about valuable items going missing at airport TSA checkpoints are worryingly common, but it’s not often you can prove your possessions have indeed been stolen by the people employed to protect you. Fortunately, Apple has made iOS devices easy to track when they go missing, and ABC News recently took advantage of this feature to catch a thieving TSA officer red-handed.

Use Find My iPad To Locate Your Stolen Device And You Could Be Accused Of Trespassing ‘Via Radio Wave’

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Thieves don't like it when you track them down with your iPad.

An Australian man who used the Find My iPad feature to locate his tablet after it was stolen is being accused of trespassing “via radio wave.” A court is now trying to decide whether he acted unlawfully when he used Apple’s service to track his iPad — and the thief who stole it — via GPS.

Clever 8-Year-Old Uses Find my iPhone To Recover $350k Worth Of Stolen Items

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8-year-old

No one likes a thief who gets away with stolen items and especially not 8 year old Landon Crabtree. After a burglar broke into his family’s house to get away with the family’s iPad and a few other items, the family got insurance money for the lost goods. But Landon wasn’t going to stand for someone else having his iPad and used Apple’s free Find my iPhone to recover the iPad. However, that’s not the only thing police found.

In Israel, Find My iPad feature Gets the Goods, Impresses Police

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Smashed Window on Victim's Car (Image: Jacob Dayan)

We’ve reported a number of times about how Apple’s Find my iPad (or iPhone) feature has helped retrieve multiple lost or stolen iDevices. This week reader Jacob Dayan from Israel wrote to tell us his own successful, and moderately harrowing, story about getting his iPad back when he returned to his car to find his window smashed and a bag of items missing. From his blog:

“When I call my wife to tell her the bad news, it hits me. I can find my iPad! I ask my daughter Vered to log in to my MobileMe accounts, and within few minutes I hear the good news – the blue dot is active, my iPad is on the map! I start the chase, and Vered instructs me from remote. “Turn left … they are heading to the other cemetery… they are now approaching Rt 40..”.

Dayan follows the thief for 10 miles, until his daughter reports that the iPad is inside an apartment building.