Think the Find my iPhone feature on your smartphone is only good at locating your lost device? Used with creativity, it can do a lot more than that. A Nashville, Tennessee resident used the online feature to find his stolen car, and help police apprehend the criminal who took it, according to a story from local source News Channel 5.
After stopping at an intersection, Chase Richardson was carjacked by an armed man who shouted for him to get out of the vehicle. Sensibly complying, Richardson got out, but at the same time left his work-issued Apple iPhone in the car. The criminal also demanded Richardson’s wallet and his own personal phone, then got in the car and drove away.
The police arrived after Richardson called 911 at a Walgreens store, which is when the Find My iPhone feature was called into action. The service uses GPS to generally locate a registered device, which in this case was the work phone. The police apparently used Find My iPhone in real time to track down the stolen car. A police helicopter was called in to assist after the car was located, as the thief tried to evade arrest.
This is not the first time we’ve heard about Find My iPhone being used to track down a suspect, or even about phone tracking software allowing someone to snoop on the life of a phone thief; but there’s no doubt Richardson’s quick thinking helped police quickly arrest the carjacker, and return the vehicle to its rightful owner. However, while it’s the tracked iPhone that makes this an interesting story, the best news is that Richardson wasn’t hurt in the theft.
While in this case it was Apple’s Find My iPhone service that helped resolve the situation, it’s not the only way to track a lost or stolen phone. Google has its own Find My Device service, which operates in the same way using Wi-Fi and GPS, and like Apple’s system can also be used to remotely lock or even wipe your phone. Additionally, Samsung has its own device location service, and there are third-party companies like Cerberus Anti-Theft that do the same.
Whichever you choose, we hope it will only ever be used to find your phone down the back of a couch, and nothing more serious.