Cops track thief using their own iPhone Feature

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by bigjnyc, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. bigjnyc macrumors 603


    Apr 10, 2008
    From the NY POST

  2. sulpfiction macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2011
    Philadelphia Area
    I prefer the pro-crime cops myself.
  3. bigjnyc thread starter macrumors 603


    Apr 10, 2008
    It pays to have find my iPhone set up... Most thiefs probably dont even know about this feature or reseting the phone. They probably just want to sell it quickly.
  4. dmusicman385 macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2011
    New York
    Anti-crime is a unit....but as for this, it's a great feature, helpful, I've seen it work out first hand. Everyone should have this set up.
  5. iSingandiDance macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    So can the police track iPhones that have been set up using some technology at the precinct/in their cop cars? The "their own iPhone feature" part has me a little confused.
  6. RotaryP7 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 31, 2011
    Miami, FL
  7. Marshall Stacks macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2011
    This happened to me not long ago. Someone stole my daughter's iPhone out of her backpack at school. It had a passcode, find my iPhone was enabled, location services and accounts were locked so the thief could not turn Find my Iphone off. She made a big deal out of letting everyone know that whoever took it was going to get caught because her dad can track the phone and find it. She also used someone else’s phone to text me and ask me to find it. I logged in to iCloud and tried to locate it. No luck, the kid who stole it was at least smart enough to power it down so it couldn’t be tracked. I requested an email be sent when it was located. Nine days later on a Saturday night I got an email saying the phone had been located.I immediately logged in to iCloud and tried to locate it. Location was a parking lot at a convenience store a few miles away. I jumped in my car and sped off towards the store. I told my wife to keep refreshing the screen and keep me posted on the location. So I follow her directions until they stop. I pull up and figure out which house probably has a bunch of kids hanging around inside. I go to the door and tell the kid who answers the door that I’m looking for my iPhone .. you know, the one with the cracked screen. Uhh … I don’t know what you’re talking about, what makes you think it’s here? Because the GPS says it’s here. Maybe you don’t have it but somebody there does. I don’t care where or how they got it but I’m not leaving without it. After talking with the guy’s older brother, some dude comes out and tells me he just bought the phone from some dude for three hats and some cash. I told him I didn’t care just give me the phone. So less than 30 minutes after it was turned on, I was headed home with the phone
  8. DroidRules macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2010
    Lucky you didn't get your face pounded in. You shouldn't try and be a vigilante or bad things will probably end up happening to you. Good luck.
  9. dmusicman385 macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2011
    New York
    It means the cops used their personal iPhones, not department issued.
  10. Thedeathbear macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2010
    You never know. This guy could be 250lb and 6'6".
  11. DroidRules, Mar 2, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012

    DroidRules macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2010
    True.... but the guy at the house could have had a Louisville Slugger behind the door or ???? behind the door. It's always better to let the pros handle these sort of things.

    I know the gps could be wrong on those because if you look at my iPad at my house it is chillin in the neighbors back yard and my 4 is chillin in the middle of my street. If he would of shown up at my house and refused to leave he would of been staring down the 8" barrel of a nickle Colt Python 357 and your damn skippy he would of been "leaving without it" that night. There are lots of crazy people out there and there is no need to expose yourself to them when it's not warranted. (retrieving a stolen iPhone with a cracked screen is not one of those times IMHO.) That's why we have LEO's.

    I am typically pretty skeptical about these types of stories but seeing one published makes me believe this one. Also more believable as it was actually a LEO tracking it.
    For the first (and the following ones too) person that down marked me... I'll sell you one. 16gig wifi $850 and it's yours.
  12. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    The phone companies can trace any stolen phones from unsophisticated street thieves, they just don't want to. With GPS, they can pinpoint the thief but they would rather have the victims buy a new phone and reup their contract.

    The carriers, at least in the US, could discourage common (unsophisticated) street theft, if they desired but they don't want to get involved. Either by tracking the stolen phones, blocking stolen phones from accessing networks, or deactivating stolen phones.

    There are several deaths from phone robberies each year in the USA that the carriers could easily stop if the were held accountable.

    If they blocked stolen phones from their network, it would cut down on street crime involving mobile phones, cut out the incentive. The carriers would rather have a stolen phone on their than block a stolen phone.

    Apple has even more restrictions on iPhones which could be used to curb crime but Apple won't do it either.

    I don't claim to know the legality of all this but it is technically possible by all carriers and apple to discourage theft, they just don't care.

    I'd like to others opinions?
  13. marksman macrumors 603


    Jun 4, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Blocking alleged stolen phones is not an option. It would be abused by people who sell phones then hold them for ransom. Friends and boyfriends and girlfriends could use it for harrasdment.

    The carriers don't want to have to decide if a phone was stolen or sold. Way too much work and liability.
  14. LostSoul80 macrumors 68020


    Jan 25, 2009
  15. TonyC28 macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2009
    The phone companies (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon,...) are compliant when contacted by the police to locate a phone. I'm a 911 dispatcher and have done this numerous times. The biggest problem I've seen is the accuracy. Sometimes they'll give you coordinates for where the phone is and say the accuracy is within 500 meters, or 1000 meters. So when that happens it's basically useless. I've let victims use my iPhone and my Find My iPhone app to locate their phones before. That is usually very very accurate.
    So, the phone carriers do help police by tracking, or at least locating, stolen phones. It's just not as easy as one might think. And as far as simply blocking a stolen phone on a network......


    It's probably still not worth it, but I could see this working if a person reported a phone stolen (not lost, not missing, not dropped in a lake, not "I can't remember where I put it") but reported STOLEN to a police department. That person is then on record as having reported a crime and a stolen device. Then that police report can be sent to the phone company, or companies, and be deactivated. If that person was lying about the phone being stolen then they have just committed a crime and could be charged. It would probably be quite an undertaking to get a system in place at the phone companies to allow for this to work, but I could see it being possible.
  16. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    There's a reason why they don't want to. There's a fine line in the public mind between finding stolen phones and giving the phone company free reign to track your whereabouts and turn them over to anyone who asks.

    Could the cell companies do this? yes. But it would also confirm and put right in the forefront of everyone's mind the fact that cell companies can track the whereabouts of people who legitimately bought their phones, too.

    OnStar has to deal with this problem every day. For every grateful GM owner who has their stolen car recovered, directions given, or check engine light diagnosed, there's at least 5 cooks who loudly proclaim they would never buy a GM vehicle, and you shouldn't either, because OnStar can track your every move and record every word of what you say in the car (which is totally not true - Verizon's cell network would be hopelessly overwhelmed if that were the case, and most GM car's batteries would be chronically in need of a jump - but that doesn't stop the privacy cooks from believing it).

    Likewise, if AT&T, who has at least 20 times the customer base of OnStar, were to start tracking a phone every time someone's dad calls claiming their daughter's phone is stolen, you bet Al Franken is gonna be on their case over it.

    Don't get me wrong, we need to Al Frankens of the word to keep a balance, but with that balance comes a price.

    There's no evidence of that at all. If that were true, NO one would be stealing iPhones because a thief would be too afraid of Find My iPhone being on it.
    Such measures might deter some smart thieves, but the dumb ones who couldn't care less if your phone can be tracked or not are probably also the ones who don't care if you live or die.

    Now THIS I can agree with. AT&T can (and definitely should) participate in the IMEI blacklists.

    Such as?
  17. Marshall Stacks macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2011
    Since the phone was stolen at my daughter's High School, I was relatively sure I was dealing with teenage punks. The location it gave me was one of two houses. It was pretty obvious which house it was from the POS cars parked outside. I was not about to start acting like a badass. If they weren't going to hand it over, I would have simply walked to the driveway and called the police.
  18. iceterminal macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2008
    Dallas Tx.
    He's right. Instead you should of hide yourself away and hoped someone else would care enough to stand up for you. Embrace becoming a pacifist.

    Or, as you should, stand up for yourself and do whats right. Don't hide, criminals count on your fear, they count on you running to the cops which gives them time to run further away.

    Just think about it. What if everyone stood up and refused to be cowards. No one just gave in like some little pansy.
    How many criminals would we still have? Would a criminal steal from someone thats afraid and won't fight back, or someone thats going to fight for themselves and possibly be carrying some type of weapon?
    Yeah, they go for the pansy.
  19. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    Vigilante justice is still justice. ;) Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to get your phone back.
  20. DroidRules, Mar 4, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012

    DroidRules macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2010
    I was going to LOL at you but then saw you were from Texas and now understand.

    Your bravado is silly and will get you and other hurt. It's all well in good to say it online while pounding keyboard keys in your house but that's not really reality is it. It has nothing to do with being scared, a coward or a pansy. It's about the law. It's about due process. It's about using your head and not your "muscle". My scenario stands.... If he would of come to my door or you for that matter ice, and acted in any manner that I found threatening (demanding to have an iPhone that may or may not be at my residence is threatening) I would ask you to leave. If you still insisted on staying on my property I would then let you know by not agreeing to leave my property when asked I will take that as a threat to myself and my family. If you still insisted on not leaving I would then brandish the 357 magnum that I had pointed at you (from behind the door) the entire time you were standing there and start pointing it at your head in full view. Now you don't sound like the kind of person to back down as you wouldn't want to be seen as a..... what did you say..... Oh yeah, a pansy or coward so I can only assume you would make a move for said 357 magnum. If the Hydra-Shok that was fired from said 357 magnum didn't open your skull like a melon and you actually did make it to me/my 357 magnum I would bet the giant Akita that would certainly be bolting through the door at that time would definitely make you reconsider your course of action.... If your mind was still made up to continue your course of action I'm sure the slug from the 12g my wife just fired at your chest would finish the job.

    NOW, seeing as that would cause ME to have a bad day and you to DEFINITELY have a bad day, why don't we just do the civically responsible thing and call the police if we feel we are the victim of a crime and/or have solved said crime and believe we know where our stolen item is. You may feel the above scenario is far fetched but ask our Mr. ice.... I bet he would do the same if the above scenario placed him at his door with some psycho barking commands for retrieval of a stolen iPhone.

    See above scenario.

    I know OP said he thought it was probably punk kids and in his case it was, but it won't always be punk kids. (I work at a jail and know this for a fact. I read charge reports all the time with similar situations)

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