Police Officer Shares His High-Tech Arrest Of An iPhone Robber [Must Read]

Looks like Apple’s iPhone could be the next most wanted tool by Manhattan’s police officers helping them track down shop lifters such as the one arrested by officer Robert Garland last week. The officer told the New York Times about the robbery of an iPhone 4 from a handbag store and how a high-tech arrest was made by him. It happened last Thursday at 1393 Avenue of the Americas, near West 57th Street at around 7 p.m when a cashier at Tuci Italia was taking a break near the entrance of the shop and watching videos on her iPhone 4.

Citing from the source:

Then, a man came into the shop, pointed a gun at her, grabbed her iPhone and fled, she told the police.

When Officer Garland and Sgt. Richard Coan arrived, they found the woman crying, but Mr. Garland reassured her. “I told her when I walked in, ‘I’m going to find your iPhone,’ ” he said.

The ace up the sleeve of Officer Garland, an avid Apple consumer — he and his wife own iPhones, iPads and Macintosh computers — was something called “Find My iPhone,” a free 5.4-megabyte piece of software, or app, that he had on the iPhone in his pocket.

Punching in the victim’s Apple ID, which is the log-on people use to buy, say, songs from iTunes, he quickly determined by the location of a small gray phone icon on a digital map that the robber was near Eighth Avenue and 51st Street.

As Officer Garland and his partner drove there, the signal source shifted, closer to Eighth Avenue and 49th Street. There, a man later identified by the police as George Bradshaw, 40, of New Lots, Brooklyn, stepped outside a Food Emporium.

Officer Garland pushed the “Play Sound” button on his phone. Instantly, a pinging beep — not unlike the sound of a submarine’s sonar — began emitting from Mr. Bradshaw, 20 feet away.

As the officers closed in, joined by another pair, the pinging stopped. Had Mr. Bradshaw been an Apple aficionado, he might have known how to disable the iCloud setting, which could have stopped the trace.

Instead, Officer Garland said, the suspect left the phone unchanged, and the officer hit “play” again, prompting another round of pings. Mr. Bradshaw was caught red-handed, or more specifically, with the stolen iPhone in his right sock, Officer Garland said. The victim later identified him as the robber, and the phone was recovered.

The thief who was already facing charges in a cellphone theft last month, was charged with robbery and possession of stolen property.

“Technology runs through my veins...” | Follow me: @DrUsmanQ usman@iPhoneinCanada.ca

  • Guest

    The character you used is The Hamburglar. lol

  • Anonymous

    Now that’s creative thinking! 😀

  • Daniel Lee

    And …..  Anyone with half a brain could do what he did, not only that, the officer was lucky that the idiot didn’t disable the GPS and settings, or at least power the phone off!

    I give the officer a +1 for actually helping the girl out and doing his job, where as other officers would have just filed a report and done nothing about it.  But he didn’t do anything that anyone else couldn’t have done.

  • D’ya think this might have had more to do with addressing an armed robbery than iPhone recovery?

  • Kraken

    Yup, anyone can track an iPhone, but not everyone has the balls (and physical offensive ability) to approach an armed thief to get their iPhone back.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Hmmm……isn’t using an image of (I would think) a trademarked character without express written consent or consent of some kind against the law? Ironic this story is about theft & yet the author/website is guilty of the same!

  • Drydockdave

    If he was an RCMP he would have TASERED the guy a couple of times to be assured of his safety.

  • Zing!

    “don’t tase me bro!”

  • MEssiYoCKLER

    …and if she hadn’t enabled FindMyiPhone then this story would be pointless.