Last week a lad called to report that he had just been victim of a street robbery. His lovely shiny iPhone 4 had been taken.
I went to the scene and found the victim, who was shaken but unhurt. He provided descriptions of the two thieves who were on pushbikes (youngsters), which I shared over the radio with team colleagues on area search.
The victim then mentioned that his phone had the ‘Find my iPhone’ feature switched on. Using my phone, we logged into his account and lo and behold there was his phone, tracking in woods about a mile away.
I rushed over there and got out on foot… as I walked towards the area our two suspects burst from cover, cycling madly away from me. Calling other units to try to cut them off, I continued to track the phone which was now moving quickly away on the map!
Officers on foot caught up with the lads next to the river, but they managed to make off again (bikes are always quicker than a copper on foot!) and I’m sorry to say we lost them, despite the best efforts of a dog unit and even the force air support (well, it was a robbery!).
The phone however was resolutely tracking in a wooded area off the river. I went there on foot, and using the Find my iPhone app, sent the stolen phone a message. I listened carefully and could hear a phone ringing in the undergrowth… one iPhone recovered from the leaf mulch and seized it for examination by SOCO (Scenes of Crime Officer) for possible fingerprints.
The victim was pretty happy that we’d recovered the phone, but pretty annoyed that I wanted to keep it for SOCO, in fact he insisted on having it back. Which was a shame. Until he unlocked his iPhone to find that one of our robbers had left himself logged into Facebook.
One in custody – I’m sure he’ll give up his mate too.
I like stupid criminals.