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Hello all,

I'm a reporter at the Toronto Star and I'm writing about the way police use (or don't use) GPS-based apps to locate stolen devices.

I'm looking for information about what Find My iPhone is designed to do, its limitations, and any stories about using it to recover a stolen device.

Please get in touch if you have information to share:

Melinda Maldonado
Reporter, Toronto Star
office: 416-869-4555
email: [email protected]

For what it's worth, I bought a 4S from someone on this forum last year and it was great -- until it was ripped out of my hand in broad daylight, which sparked my interest in this story.
 

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Hmmm... regardless of what Apple and some other sites say, I know of two instances where it's not quite such a pretty recovery:

- A local friend had some of his iDevices stolen, and he could see their location and gave all the info to the police.

- My eldest son had an iPad stolen from his Whitehorse Apple Dealer/Service store, the RCMP gave him a few days to broadcast the video of the thief on facebook etc., where the thief was identified, and all that info and the location was given to the RCMP.

Both are STILL waiting for their stolen Mac devices to be returned several months after the fact and the time that they were stolen and tracked. Certainly NOT an ideal situation. :(
 

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Hmmm... regardless of what Apple and some other sites say, I know of two instances where it's not quite such a pretty recovery:

- A local friend had some of his iDevices stolen, and he could see their location and gave all the info to the police.

- My eldest son had an iPad stolen from his Whitehorse Apple Dealer/Service store, the RCMP gave him a few days to broadcast the video of the thief on facebook etc., where the thief was identified, and all that info and the location was given to the RCMP.

Both are STILL waiting for their stolen Mac devices to be returned several months after the fact and the time that they were stolen and tracked. Certainly NOT an ideal situation. :(
So the police did actually recover the devices?

I've not found the Toronto police especially interested in apprehending thieves or recovering stolen goods. My husband's $1300 bike was stolen (from a rack outside his office building at College and Bay that actually had video surveillance, not that this helped - the video was terrible quality, but the theft was recorded) and he found it again, quite by chance, 6 months later, chained to a post at Dundas Square. It was an unusual color and very recognizable. Anyway - the current "owner" had bought it "used" and was willing to return it - he even got the guy he bought it from to give him his money back (no doubt he didn't want the police at HIS door). We had an address and all the pertinent info - the police weren't interested, even though there was evidence that this person was regularly dealing in stolen bikes. This was several months after the Igor Kenk case. You'd think they might have been interested, but nope. Bigger fish to fry?
 

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As far as I know Paddy, in both cases the police did actually recover the devices, but still not returned to the rightful owners as far as Iknow.

And the last times I've asked or checked, it seemed to have hit some annoyed nerves and further discussion was not welcomed.

So I'm assuming that they are both still quite p'd off.

Maybe the items were/are being held for evidence or something and awaiting some judgement, where the thieves may get a verbal hand slap and just carry on. :(

PS: I couldn't reply earlier as ehmac seemed to be completely off-line and nothing was working there. All other sites all OK.
 

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So the police did actually recover the devices?

I've not found the Toronto police especially interested in apprehending thieves or recovering stolen goods. My husband's $1300 bike was stolen (from a rack outside his office building at College and Bay that actually had video surveillance, not that this helped - the video was terrible quality, but the theft was recorded) and he found it again, quite by chance, 6 months later, chained to a post at Dundas Square. It was an unusual color and very recognizable. Anyway - the current "owner" had bought it "used" and was willing to return it - he even got the guy he bought it from to give him his money back (no doubt he didn't want the police at HIS door). We had an address and all the pertinent info - the police weren't interested, even though there was evidence that this person was regularly dealing in stolen bikes. This was several months after the Igor Kenk case. You'd think they might have been interested, but nope. Bigger fish to fry?
I think the problem is that without them being caught "red-handed" it would make it tougher to prosecute them. The person who bought it says "I bought it from them" .. the person that sold it said "I didn't sell it to them" ... where do you go from there on a legal standpoint. Not that it's fair or any good, but I suspect this might have had something to do with it.
 

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fyi, when the police feign disinterest, they often follow up unknown to you--for whatever reason, they do it this way sometimes.


So the police did actually recover the devices?

I've not found the Toronto police especially interested in apprehending thieves or recovering stolen goods. My husband's $1300 bike was stolen (from a rack outside his office building at College and Bay that actually had video surveillance, not that this helped - the video was terrible quality, but the theft was recorded) and he found it again, quite by chance, 6 months later, chained to a post at Dundas Square. It was an unusual color and very recognizable. Anyway - the current "owner" had bought it "used" and was willing to return it - he even got the guy he bought it from to give him his money back (no doubt he didn't want the police at HIS door). We had an address and all the pertinent info - the police weren't interested, even though there was evidence that this person was regularly dealing in stolen bikes. This was several months after the Igor Kenk case. You'd think they might have been interested, but nope. Bigger fish to fry?
 

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Hello all,

I'm a reporter at the Toronto Star and I'm writing about the way police use (or don't use) GPS-based apps to locate stolen devices.

I'm looking for information about what Find My iPhone is designed to do, its limitations, and any stories about using it to recover a stolen device.

Please get in touch if you have information to share:

Melinda Maldonado
Reporter, Toronto Star
office: 416-869-4555
email: [email protected]

For what it's worth, I bought a 4S from someone on this forum last year and it was great -- until it was ripped out of my hand in broad daylight, which sparked my interest in this story.
I use it to help my wife who never knows where she is.. also my father who always says he is half way to my place, but still sitting at home :D

Previously - with find my iphone you were able to force send a text message to the item but they removed it.. not sure why.. it was a great feature to send a text to the iPhone, Like please return my iPhone..


If someone stole my precious iThings, I'm not sure I'd want them back. It would be like a stranger eating half my dinner - I would never be sure what they had done.

But, I would use Find My Phone to brick the device as soon as I could. Findin and punishing them would be a bonus.
i would happily want my iDevices back.. no questions asked.. Then reformat it and reset it up if i was worried about any 'hacks'..

as for the food, they can have it. no comparisons.
 

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Using "lost mode" is essentially the same as sending a text to the phone but better. It will lock the device with a password if you don't already have one and allow you to set the call back phone number(person with the phone just its "call" button) and a message on the phone.
 

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I think the problem is that without them being caught "red-handed" it would make it tougher to prosecute them. The person who bought it says "I bought it from them" .. the person that sold it said "I didn't sell it to them" ... where do you go from there on a legal standpoint. Not that it's fair or any good, but I suspect this might have had something to do with it.
Yes - it's quite possible. And However, they didn't even take the info, so no way they followed up.

I do realize that it's tough to prosecute these sorts of cases without hard evidence, but it's frustrating that unless you're doing something bad on the scale of Igor Kenk, they're just not interested. It was clear that whoever stole my husband's bike wasn't just doing this on a casual, one-off basis. The video surveillance showed someone with a massive set of bolt cutters (who walks around downtown Toronto with those, unnoticed, in broad daylight??) cutting the lock, and then two hours later, someone actually riding off on the bike. (Different person - that much was obvious from the video). So it was definitely planned, by more than one person.
 

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Interesting discussion.

A few months ago, I sat on a chair in a big box store showroom. The chair looked good, but it was assembled wrong and I landed on my butt on the floor. Luckily my injuries were not serious.

I posted about it here and asked if I should pursue a claim against the company. Most people were supportive.

The response I remember the most was from someone berating me for even considering a claim because it would drive up insurance costs.

I did pursue a claim so that the company had it on record that the problem occurred. I settled for an apology and a token amount of money. My family had a nice dinner on the proceeds.

Now here we are demanding that the police drop everything and actively try to recover our iPhones.

So let me puzzle this out. Sue a company for negligence BAD because that companies insurance would go up. Involve hours of police time recovering elite things GOOD?

Sure, report that you lost your phone so the police can record a trend, but let's not tie up resources that could be better deployed elsewhere.

The cost of having the police recover an iPhone would be much more than the settlement I got for my claim on the big box store.
 

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Friend lost a phone @ a festival in MTL. She was able to locate it, but it was in a unsavory part of the city and could not get anyone to go w/ her.

This other buddy in the US had his lap swiped and tracked it down. Gave police all the info but they were too busy dipping their donuts in coffee. So he took to twitter and asked his followers to go vigilante and get it for him. He had a reward and all if I do recall. And he got it back as well.

The tweet that started it all.

another tweet

even ?uestlove, drummer from The Roots got in on the twitter help

and eventually was recovered as I mentioned...

It was entertaining reading - though it is SHOCKING the amount of laps that are getting swiped now from bands, by BRAZEN *fans*.
 

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Friend lost a phone @ a festival in MTL. She was able to locate it, but it was in a unsavory part of the city and could not get anyone to go w/ her.

This other buddy in the US had his lap swiped and tracked it down. Gave police all the info but they were too busy dipping their donuts in coffee. So he took to twitter and asked his followers to go vigilante and get it for him. He had a reward and all if I do recall. And he got it back as well.

The tweet that started it all.

another tweet

even ?uestlove, drummer from The Roots got in on the twitter help

and eventually was recovered as I mentioned...

It was entertaining reading - though it is SHOCKING the amount of laps that are getting swiped now from bands, by BRAZEN *fans*.
Maybe the cops were busy tracking down a murderer or rapist. Maybe there were busy investigating a deadly traffic accident.

Social media can provide a no-cost alternative so why be angry at the police. The items were recovered, so why bash the police.

Police service costs money. As a taxpayer, I hope they set their priorities.

Let's see. Somebody's laptop or a lost child. Where would you put your money?
 

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Maybe the cops were busy tracking down a murderer or rapist. Maybe there were busy investigating a deadly traffic accident.

Social media can provide a no-cost alternative so why be angry at the police. The items were recovered, so why bash the police.

Police service costs money. As a taxpayer, I hope they set their priorities.

Let's see. Somebody's laptop or a lost child. Where would you put your money?
You can check with him - but i'm also assuming that he had several convos with them and eventually took matters in his own hands.

I've seen officers act quickly on similar situations, so I guess there's precedent. Either way, everyone's got their own perspective on how it should be handled.

*kanye shrug*
 

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Sometimes it really helps any recovery with the victim doing some work rather than just expecting the police to do everything, if they have time, as some locals and my son in Whitehorse and a local friend did.

ie:

Colwood man uses IP address to help recover stolen laptop - Victoria News

Amateur sleuths track stolen goods - News - Times Colonist

Quick-thinking Cedar student helps police recover stolen cellphones, other valuables - Local - Times Colonist
Totally agreed.

I do think it's a natural reaction to want to involve police 1st though, and not have to take matters in your own hands as I'm sure there are legal hurdles if something messy were to happen.

+

If insurance has to come into play @ some point, there likely has to be a Police document filed somewhere along the tine no?
 

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Totally agreed.

I do think it's a natural reaction to want to involve police 1st though, and not have to take matters in your own hands as I'm sure there are legal hurdles if something messy were to happen.

+

If insurance has to come into play @ some point, there likely has to be a Police document filed somewhere along the tine no?

As far as I know, a police report needs to be filed regardless of any possible recovery attempt or insurance claim.

One exception was a local friend, even though he had phoned to police of the theft of his iPad and Touch, he tacked them to a neighbours house not too far away, and I thought he was taking a real chance when he just walked over to the house, knocked on the door and said his iPod and Touch had been tracked there, and the guy just got them and handed them to him.

Vert few words exchanged I understand.

A bit chancy for me to attempt I think.
 

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As far as I know, a police report needs to be filed regardless of any possible recovery attempt or insurance claim.

One exception was a local friend, even though he had phoned to police of the theft of his iPad and Touch, he tacked them to a neighbours house not too far away, and I thought he was taking a real chance when he just walked over to the house, knocked on the door and said his iPod and Touch had been tracked there, and the guy just got them and handed them to him.

Vert few words exchanged I understand.

A bit chancy for me to attempt I think.
wow.
 
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