iPhone vigilante justice worries police
Fri, 29 Jul 2011 6:27p.m.
By Amanda Gillies
Police have issued a warning for those using an app that helps owners locate the whereabouts of stolen iPhones and iPads.
3 News knows of at least three recent cases where victims used what's called "Find My iPhone" to track down their missing device.
But what should you do next, if it happens to you ?.
Izac Hancock's iPhone 4 is a crucial part of his life. So when it was stolen from an Auckland bar, he was determined to get it back.
On a borrowed phone, he called his girlfriend who was near a computer.
"Got her to go to www.me.com, a website, and log in with my details to bring up my iPhone on the map," he says.
From there they could track down the iPhone using its GPS.
Ashlee Tulloch locked the phone and then watched it moving up and down Queen St.
"The only problem is it was about a minute or so delayed," she says, "so who they were looking at could have been different because it could have been different people - they may have moved on."
Then the phone was turned off, preventing tracking. But in the morning it was turned back on, and indicated it was at a Remuera home.
So the couple headed there themselves, asking the owner - through an intercom - if they could "chat''.
Ms Tulloch wasn't sure if they should call the police.
"It's only an iPhone app, it's only a piece of technology. Is it something they can actually act on?"
Initially the person inside wasn't interested.
"I was holding the phone and I was saying, 'Look, this is where it is, it is here, it is at this house, it's your house is it not? This is where we are.'"
After about an hour, the phone was eventually handed back.
Police told 3 News anyone who tracks down there phone like this is better off contacting them. They say suspecting that your property is at an address does not give you any extra legal rights to enter, and there is always the risk of confrontation.
This week, police did help a man who used "Find My iPad" to locate his stolen computer, but another iPhone owner using the app told 3 News police refused to help him, so he bought another phone.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
1/08/2011 9:03:27 p.m.
Steve Withers wrote:
From what I've heard from a couple of people who called the police they were told the GPS info wasn't good enough...sorry.
That indifference leaves a vacuum that will sometimes / often be filled people who very much want their valuable device back...and they DO know where it is.
The police need to step up.
1/08/2011 1:23:52 p.m.
I wonder why people have to turn to vigilante methods because the police are that slack in actually doing their job. id rather do it myself and atleast I get some sort of result than some idiot cop sitting at their desk getting paid to be a total retard. I had an instance last week where my cellphone got stolen and I reported it to the police. the police officer was that unhelpful i wound up tearing up the report in front of her and I told her straight, "no wonder no-one has faith in the police, your too slack for your own damn good" I would seriously putting a tracking software on every phone on the market that way you can track it down easily. the police don't do anything about cellphones because they think its a minor issue. Yet its "worrying police" that vigilante methods are being used to track down ipads and iphones. I wonder why to be honest because the police do not care. They are utterly useless yet they let thefts like that go unabated yet its a blatant offense. The Police are idiots!
30/07/2011 2:48:51 p.m.
Man, it brasses me off when the cops think vigilante justice is not something we want in society, yet they won't get off their own asses to sort out any issues. You can't have your cake and eat it as well! Either fulfil the needs or get out of the way!
30/07/2011 5:06:10 a.m.
Christine does make a point here but forgets the facts, that an iPad does not have GPS. In these cases of a lost or stollen iPad it IS much harder to locate as they will either rely on the cell towers estimate or your ISP marked location of your conection which in cases can be off by a few houses.
These are dependent on wether your iPad is a WIFI + 3G iPad or just a WIFI iPad of which I am also an owner of.
29/07/2011 8:03:01 p.m.
"...another iPhone owner using the app told 3 News police refused to help him, so he bought another phone." This could be true, or just media hype. I tend to believe it, however. NZ Police appear to be underfunded and relatively useless. Just let the criminal have it...they have earned it.
29/07/2011 7:35:44 p.m.
Given that my iPad insists it is located 4 houses further down the road than it actually is, this sort of thing makes me rather anxious! If someone took the GPS as infallible and came banging on my door announcing 'Look, this is where it is, it is here, it is at this house, it's your house is it not? This is where we are.' I'd feel threatened in my own home, and would probably have to call the police myself!
An Auckland car dealership has been sentenced for what Trade Me has called the biggest ghost bidding scam in the auction site's history.
In a medical first, doctors used plastic particles and a 3D laser printer to create an airway splint to save the life of a baby boy.
A look at the development of Call of Duty: Ghosts.
Some analysts agree with Yahoo's boss Marissa Mayer that the company can turn Tumblr into a big money-spinner.
A music fan has found a use for his old CDs and Lego pieces - a jukebox.
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.