There are unlucky thieves, and then there is Horatio Toure.
According to San Francisco police, the 31-year-old city resident rode a bicycle up to a woman Monday afternoon in the South of Market neighborhood, snatched an iPhone out of her hands, and then pedaled away.
Problem was, the woman was carrying the phone as part of a company's demonstration of a real-time GPS tracking program. If the bandit would have taken a peek at the screen, he would have seen himself traveling across a map of San Francisco.
Toure was captured a half-mile away about 10 minutes later, at 4:01 p.m., said police Sgt. Troy Dangerfield. He was booked into jail on suspicion of grand theft and possession of stolen property.
"This reminds me of the bank robber who arrives during the security test," said the phone's owner, David Kahn.
Kahn is the chief executive of Covia Labs of Mountain View. He was in San Francisco on Monday demonstrating a product called Alert & Respond to his public relations folks at their South of Market office.
Geared for police and the military, the program allows for real-time tracking of the location of officers and other people and resources. It also allows for the integration of phones, computers and other devices and communication between them.
Kahn said he had asked an assistant, Jordan Sturm, to take his phone out on the sidewalk so he could track her location on his laptop. Seconds after she left, though, a curious thing happened. She appeared -- according to Alert & Respond -- to be running at high speed down the street.
But Sturm no longer had the phone. After she hurried back into the office, she called police and the company relayed the phone's ever-changing location to officers.
Kahn said he had considered using some of the program's other features during the episode -- turning on a microphone to hear the thief, or remotely snapping a picture. But he didn't want to clue in his adversary.
"What are the odds," Kahn asked, "that you would grab someone's cell phone during a demonstration of the ability to track the phone's location in real time? That's what this unfortunate thief did."
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