Stolen Smartphone Victim Tracks Alleged iPhone Thief and Films Confrontation

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News Posted: Thu, Jan 10 2013 11:20 AM
An alleged Apple smartphone thief bit off more than he could chew when the owner of the stolen device tracked his whereabouts using the Find My iPhone app. The owner of the iPhone in question, Kenneth Schmidgall, tracked the suspect to a beach where he caught up with the person who was in possession of his smartphone as he rode his bike, blissfully unaware that he had a tail.

"I saw the gentleman on the bike and we followed it and kept tracking it and every time it would stop, the guy on the bike would stop," Schmidgall told ABC News.


Schmidgall brought along his friend, Greg Torkelson, a freelance photographer who captured the ensuing confrontation on camera. When they caught up to the man on the bike, Schmidgall and the alleged thief ended up brawling until Torkelson pepper-sprayed the man and attempted a citizen's arrest. Shortly after, an off-duty police officer restrained the man until police arrived at the scene.

"Hopefully he won't try this again and that anybody else out there that's seen the video or is watching the segment will also think twice before stealing somebody's phone," Smidgall said.

Find My iPhone

Let this also be a reminder to smartphone owners to be sure and install/enable GPS tracking software. We're not condoning vigilante justice, but apps like Find My iPhone can help authorities track down your stolen device, if it should get swiped.
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Ha, thief got what he deserved and funny he had other warrants pending.

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sevags replied on Thu, Jan 10 2013 3:16 PM

I don't understand... Was th thief dumb enough to be using the victims phone? As in making calls with his account? From what I know a thief can shut the phone off and though the phone can be remotely turned back on most thieves go ahead and remove the SIM card immediately which conpletes makes any ind my phone app useless. After that it's just a matter of restoring the phone and installing a clean SIM card.

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InsideSin replied on Thu, Jan 10 2013 7:10 PM

Of course it's nor full-proof, however if you're lucky (as lucky as you can be for just having your phone stolen), and your thief is not tech savvy then it's a great way to get your phone back.

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If you own an android, root your phone, install avast and install their anti-theft as root. It then will not be removed, even on a hard reset. It becomes difficult to remove as there is a password and you can lock it down a whole lot. I can track my phone any time, even with a foreign sim card. As soon as it connects, I can find it, because with root, I have control over GPS. All via their website or text messages.

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Dave_HH replied on Thu, Jan 10 2013 10:32 PM

MM, that's pretty dang cool. So you can geo-locate it if you lost it, correct?

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sevags replied on Fri, Jan 11 2013 11:49 PM

Mayhem, that's awesome! I didn't know such a program was available for mobile phones. If only iOS had this option!!! I've never known anyone to lose an iPhone or have it stolen to ever find it again especially using a find my phone app. 

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