Police in Arkansas have managed to recover a stolen iPhone thanks to the help of the Find My iPhone app, following reports of a theft in a local bar.
According to The News Star, police were alerted to the theft following a night in a local bar in Monroe, Arkansas, when a woman noticed her iPhone was missing, along with an electronic cigarette and a small amount of cash.
Officers used the app to track the phone to a location in Monroe, and the suspect was taken in for questioning over the incident. Admitting to being in the same bar as the victim, the thief pled a misunderstanding but was nevertheless charged with the felony theft of the iPhone.
This is not the only incident. Find My iPhone has also been instrumental in arrests in Atlanta, Georgia, over the suspected armed robbery of five women, while an earlier armed robbery attempt in Los Angeles was foiled by the app.
Simplikate a mobile application developer that works with iPhone and other platforms, suggested that freely available tracking technologies were an essential part of safeguarding your phone and data.
“iPhones can be expensive and easily be resold by criminals. This makes them and their owners a direct target for opportunistic thieves. Through the use of apps like Find My iPhone, handset owners can protect their phone and personal data, guard against theft and ensure their phone might be recoverable.”
Find My iPhone is an app that users can set up to provide GPS tracking of the location of their iPhone. It works by displaying a map of the phone’s last known location, which law enforcement officers can use to pursue further enquiries and lines of investigation.
The map updates with the best information available, drawing on the phone’s location whenever it’s switched on. In the case of the Monroe arrest, the map pointed directly to the suspect’s home in the local area. This was enough for police to find the phone and return it to its rightful owner. We can expect seasoned criminals to be hearing stories like this, and changing the way they operate as a result.
The app has already helped countless iPhone owners locate their phones, whether through theft or loss, and it continues to be a useful aid for the police.
iPhone thefts are on the increase, with some states reporting as much as a 40% rise in reported incidents. As the latest models are released, strong demand and high prices make iPhones a prime target for criminals.
The trend applies in the UK too, with 300 iPhones stolen in London every single day, at an estimated cost of around £17m ($25m) annually.
Find My App is available for free download from the app store. While it cannot guarantee you will be able to track your iPhone into the future, downloading and installing the app can at least give you a fighting chance of recovering your phone in the event of a theft.