There’s always an element of risk in tracking down a smartphone thief, but it’s understandably tempting. Location technology means that, at least while the phone is on, we can see right where it is on a map. This week, an 18-year-old’s attempt to retrieve his smartphone in Ontario, Canada ended in tragedy.
Jeremy Cook apparently left his smartphone in a taxi and then looked the phone up online, at which point he discovered that someone else had picked it up. He and a relative went out to locate the person carrying his phone and ended up confronting three people in a car outside a strip mall in London, Ont. During the confrontation, Cook was shot multiple times and died at the scene.
Police picked up three people but released them, saying they were not involved in the crime. The Mazda used to flee the shooting was found wrecked not far from the scene, but police are still looking for the three occupants.
Although violence from tracking down stolen cellphones appears to be rare, at least one police officer has recommended that victims either involve the police or, if they can arrange to meet someone who has the phone, set up the meeting in front of a police station.