Police Use Apple’s Find my iPhone To Bust Another Thief in Victoria


Saanich police cruisers

image via the Times Colonist

Apple’s Find my iPhone is becoming a handy tool for police officers in Victoria. Saanich Police used the feature to locate and arrest a 40-year old man after he had stolen over $1,000 in cash and four iPhones from two separate businesses on Monday night, reports Victoria News:

At about 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 20 a man entered a business on the 3500-block of Quadra St. He waited for an employee to go to the back of the store and then went behind the front desk and stole a large amount of cash, all in front of a witness.

The witness called the police and gave a description of the man.

At about 9:15 p.m., staff at a restaurant about four blocks away from the first business reported that a man came in, sat down, and pretended to head for the washroom, but then entered a back storeroom and stole four iPhones from employees.

He left out the back, which staff found suspicious, so they checked surveillance video and provided information to the police.

It turns out one of the staff iPhones from the restaurant had Find my iPhone enabled which allowed them to track down the device which was several blocks away. There, the suspect matching the description was apprehended in the 900-block of McKenzie Ave and now faces two charges of theft under $5,000.

Last summer Victoria Police used Find my iPhone to recover over $4,000 worth of stolen photography equipment and in the fall similarly used the feature to recover a stolen jacket and iPhone. Other police forces such as those in Calgary have also used Find my iPhone to solve crimes in the past.

[via @VicExplorer]


  • thebruce0

    My 5S is currently lost (though I have an idea where it may be), and I have both FindMyIphone and Rogers’ Phone Finder active – though I enabled them too late, after the phone had lost power and/or was turned off.

    So 1) if someone turns it on and it connects to data, Rogers will know, and 2) If the SIM is ejected first but it connects via wifi somewhere before being wiped, Apple will know.

    The only way it can be stolen without me knowing is if someone is smart enough to not turn it on, but remove the SIM first, then wipe it before connecting to any source of data.

    Handy tools.
    Unfortunately, I tested this all on another phone (without the number lock on), and while the ‘lost mode’ does take effect when it connects to the cloud, the phone remains effectively unlocked until it receives and parses that command (my test took something like 5-10 seconds, if I recall, before the phone was locked down).

  • Chrome262

    Well the good news is, who ever finds it, even if they do what you said, can’t activated it. If they wipe it out and put in their own sim, they will need the original apple id to activated it.