If You're Going To Steal Something, Perhaps Avoid A Phone Demoing A GPS Tracking Program

from the protip dept

These days, lots of smartphones have apps for tracking the location of the phones, so stealing one of them is probably becoming increasingly risky for thieves. But, still, in a move that didn’t bode well at all, Horatio Toure supposedly used his bicycle to ride up to a woman in San Francisco carrying an iPhone, and snatched it out of her hands. The only problem? The woman had it to demo a new “real-time GPS tracking program.” It took all of about 10 minutes for the police to track down Toure, about a half a mile away. Nice work.

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Comments on “If You're Going To Steal Something, Perhaps Avoid A Phone Demoing A GPS Tracking Program”

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Steve R. (profile) says:

Well that's Good News

Many years ago we lost our Sprint phone. After calling the phone, it became “stolen” as it became obvious that the finder had no intention of returning it. Called up Sprint to help us retrieve the phone by giving us the numbers being called from that phone. Sprint said “NO” and offered no further advice or help on recovering the phone, other than turning the phone off, which we did. Sprint BAD.

Kingster (profile) says:

Re: Well that's Good News

You’re doing it wrong…

See, what you do (even years ago, but easier now) is claim it was stolen a day or two after. Sprint leaves a few calls on your bill, then you have the numbers. You may have had to wait until your bill showed, but still… It’s easier now because you can see calls almost as they happen on your online account.

Steve R. (profile) says:

Re: Re: Well that's Good News

Thanks exactly what happened. We lost the phone immediately after the close of the billing period and had to wait 30 days to get the bill. Of course everyone we called (who had received a call from that phone) denied any knowledge of who had called. Its simply another example of companies imposing necessary “road blocks” that frustrate the consumer. Fortunately, in the case of Mike’s post the woman was able to get a positive response to retrieve her phone.

Michial Thompson (user link) says:

Re: Well that's Good News

I had my car broken into and my laptop bag stolen along with some other expensive equipment ($7500 worth). One of the items was my Sprint PCS Aircard…

Sprint could have helped me recover everything by just telling me where the damn this was, but rather they just said that it was in use while I was on the phone and offered to turn it off…

The bastards lost my business immediately after…

Michael (profile) says:

Re: Re: Well that's Good News

You would be the first one to blame Sprint if they told someone where their stolen phone was and that person went there and got killed or killed someone.

I had a phone stolen once. The response from the carrier? Call the police and report it stolen. Yup – that’s the right response. Contributing to someone going off to attempt to recover their own stolen property is negligent and probably actionable.

Richard (profile) says:

One for the book of heroic failures along with..

The French burglar who raided the fridge and then settled own in the spare room to sleep off his meal.

The burglar who left his dog at the scene. The police said “home boy”…

The bank robbers who drove their getaway car straight into the police station.

The bank robbers who got stuck in the revolving door…..twice.

jilocasin0@yahoo.com says:

My favorites....

The man who tried to hold up a gun store at knife point…
Shot by the owner.

The man who held up a bank where the teller _required_ that he fill out a form _before_ she handed him the money. Bank policy. He did, using his _real_ name and address.
Police picked him up a short time later.

The man who robbed a bank and then walked across a field to his house, _behind_ the bank he robbed.
Police followed his trail to his house and arrested him.

The woman who robbed a bank and used a taxi cab as the getaway car. Which she had drive her home.
Police asked the taxi company where she was dropped off and arrested her at her house.

I’ve always thought that police were rather dumb. The only thing saving us is that as a rule the crooks are even dumber.

Deirdre (profile) says:

Re: My favorites....

Toby Duckett was indicted on three counts of bank robbery and three counts of using a .22 caliber handgun to commit those robberies.

The robberies happened at the Peoples Bank on 20th Street on March 2, March 26, and April 17.

According to the indictment, Duckett stole $1,355 in the first robbery, $10,600 in the second, and $4,846 in the third robbery

Huntington Police arrested Duckett at his home on April 22. He lived just steps from the bank.

My hometown should be so ashamed.


Chad says:

Reminds me of a story I read about a year or so ago where this guy left his new iPhone in a bar. He went back 2 minutes later to look for it but it was gone (of course). He then realized he had activated the MobileMe tracking and was able to pin-point the location. He eventually caught up with the person who had taken it… someone who worked at the bar… who claimed they were going to turn it in. Yeah right.

If a phone doesn’t have GPS, they often have locks on them which basically renders it useless to your average thief anyway.

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