Chasing down a thief thanks to MobileMe

Discussion in 'iPad' started by rdstoll, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. rdstoll macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    #1
    So our iPad got stolen last weekend. Big no bueno. But fortunately we have MobileMe on it and activated the "Find my iPad" feature on it. So I've been able to track down the general area where the stolen iPad is at. That's the good news. The bad news is that the cops won't do a damn thing unless I know for sure 100% where it is at and who might have it. And as I've found out, the iPad's GPS isn't exactly a precise representation of where it is. Every time I refresh its location it moves a bit. So I have it narrowed down to about a half-block radius but can't get a precise GPS coordinate. It's a bit frustrating, frankly.

    This Find my iPad feature is great but frankly, if you're in a big city it's all but useless given the inaccuracy of the GPS.
     
  2. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #2
    Can't you get the cops to look for it there...? You have strong evidence, that should be enough for a search warrant.
     
  3. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030

    TheBritishBloke

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    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #3
    +1 You have a GPS location that the iPad is within that vicinity, if you keep checking the iPad, you'll be able to trace exactly where it is and narrow it down to say one block of apartments, that should be enough for a search warrant.
     
  4. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #4
    One block of a city apartment could be like a 100 households! Many more if it's a tall building. No way is a judge going to allow the police to search all of them (at least I hope not!), and I shudder to think of how many man hours such a search will take, if allowed.
     
  5. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #5
    If it's regular homes (ie not apartments) then a search warrant is called for. The GPS lock is more than enough evidence that there is stolen property in the vicinity.
     
  6. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #6
    Do you have experience with this? You speak as if you are an authority on the subject (maybe you are)
     
  7. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #7
    Yes. Experience. When my dad got his car stolen, the security company had a GPS lock on it within a two home/house area. Police got a search warranty solely on the GPS lock. Found the car in the second house and busted the lady and 3 guys there. Simple.

    Sure an iPad is not worth as much as a car, but stolen property is stolen property. Besides, being an iPad, it can have sensible information making this crime Identity concerning also.
     
  8. GadgetAddict macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #8
    In a previous theft on this thread the OP managed to get the cops to retrieve the stolen iPad. That was in NYC. It really depends where you live (densely populated or not) but in any case you should really bug the cops to do something!!!!
     
  9. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Kilrath
    #9
    Car is a lot larger and lojack can usually be tracked to a single residence.

    No judge will issue a warrant to search an entire group of homes or apartments to search for a stolen ipad. You need a specific suspect and some sort of reasonably compelling evidence that individual has the stolen goods (or other stolen goods or other criminal activity at the address).

    Blanket warrants are a bad idea!!

    Cheers,
     
  10. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #10
    In that case, they had a specific suspect, because it was taken from the airport so they correlated airport employees to people who lived in that neighborhood. They didn't do a house-by-house search of an entire city block!

    In a tall building, let's say 20 stories tall, even if the GPS tracked the iPad to within an inch, they could be searching 20 apartments. Seesh!
     
  11. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #11
    OP, I certainly don't want you to put yourself in any situation in which you feel danger, but if you cannot get the cops to help, you may try going to the area. If you feel it is safe, just start asking around if people have noticed anything suspicious or seen someone flaunting a new iPad. Hopefully your thief finds out about this (and possibly not knowing it was GPS that tracked them) gets nervous and decides to try and sell it to a pawn shop or something. When it moves, you can track it. Hopefully the new location will give you better luck. Have you already filed the appropriate insurance claims if applicable?
     
  12. GadgetAddict macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #12
    Agreed. What would you suggest in this case?

    The OP can see his iPad but can't get it! How frustrating is that??
     
  13. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #13
    I do feel for the OP. I would be extremely frustrated too if I were in his position. But I certainly don't want cops searching *my* apartment just because they know there's a stolen iPad *somewhere* in the building.
     
  14. vastoholic macrumors 68000

    vastoholic

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    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    #14
    If you don't feel safe I'd be checking the location as much as possible to see if it ever moves. Maybe they take it out and bring it back. You might be able to track a specific car this way.
     
  15. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #15
    I feel for the OP, but I would be very surprised if a judge would issue ANY search warrant -- even with a specific address -- for a fourth-degree grand theft charge. In fact, depending on the type of ipad stolen, this could be considered petty theft... a misdemeanor.

    The police are more likely to take your statement so you can make a claim for your homeowner's insurance.

    Many of us (including me) share the belief that more information is always better... but in this case it is really not so.
     
  16. Freedomepalin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    #16
    Here's whatcha gotta do:

    Observe the location via findmyiphone for a period of time, and you'll notice the circle around the ipad will get bigger and smaller over time. When it is really small and you think you can narrow in on 1 building head over there with a laptop and a friend. Park out front, and have your friend "gain" access to the building, and starting on the 1st floor have him walk through the halls while you're in the car sending notes/setting off the alarm on your ipad. Make sure to send non suspicious notes i.e. make them look like text messages.

    Hopefully the building is only a few stories tall, and within no time your friend will be able to narrow the alarm down to a single apartment. At which point you join him inside, knock on the door, and rush the apartment when they open the door, snatching your iPad and getting the heck out of there.

    Let me know how it works.
     
  17. doodude macrumors regular

    doodude

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    pssst, look behind you...
    #17
    File your report & get another one or shave your head, suck on a tootsie pop & go bust down a few doors.

    I think I know which would be easier...
     
  18. Peterson8765 macrumors 6502a

    Peterson8765

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  19. 3lionsbecks Suspended

    3lionsbecks

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #19
    So....you figure the iPad notification alarm will be audible in the hallway when it goes off in someone's apartment?

    What are the walls made of where you live, paper?

    Non-sense....complete non-sense.
     
  20. daver11 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #20
    Just add a few more friends and some equipment! Lets say you narrow it down to 50 apartments. Get 50 friends and equip each one with one of those little satellite dish looking spy listening devices and have each one zero in on one of the apartments. Then send the alarm message and viola! Culprit exposed!
     
  21. IamHermann0069 macrumors member

    IamHermann0069

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Location:
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    #21
    You do know you can also message the iPad from MobileMe, and get the piercing beeping to notify whoever has it that you know it's missing. This may not work, but I think it is worth a shot if you have not done so yet.

    My girlfriend lost her iPhone in a ballroom at the Mirage hotel in Las Vegas, and so I did the find my iphone from my phone, and it showed us that it was still in the hotel. I tried calling it and nobody answered, so we then set up a remote lock (making it useless). We then sent it a message with my phone number, and 10 minutes later I received a call from a random number, and someone heard the alarm going off under the chair and 20 minutes later we met up and had the phone.

    I am not saying you will always find someone nice enough to do the right thing, but MobileMe has a few different options, and all of them are very useful.
     
  22. 3lionsbecks Suspended

    3lionsbecks

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    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #22
    :D

    well that makes sense then!!
    :p
     
  23. rdstoll thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    #23
    I've already been down there and when the ipad pops up I head over there to see if I can find someone with it. The problem is that I can only narrow it down to one of six 2-3 level apartment buildings, and the cops say they can't (or don't want to) go door to door trying to find it. Basically, only if I can track it down for sure and I have a good sense of who might have it. It's extremely frustrating to be within feet of recovering this thing but not being able to pinpoint it to the exact spot. If nothing else, it's a bit of an adventure and if these clowns think I'm going to give up on it they have another thing coming!
     
  24. rdstoll thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    #24
    Yeah I commanded MobileMe to make noise on it and I literally stood in an alley at 5:30am listening for the sound but could not hear it. Have also sent a few dozen threatening messages with my Google Voice number added on in case they wanted to give up.
     
  25. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #25
    Have you contacted Apple and let them know it was stolen? I'm not sure if they would take any interest in your lost item or if they could help at all. Worth a shot.
     

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