Find my iPad app helps 8-year-old catch burglars and $350,000-worth of stolen property

landon crabtree

An eight-year-old kid from Tennessee was able to track down some burglars that had broken into his home and stolen his iPad by using an Apple-made location-tracking app. The Find my iPad app helped police locate the hotel where these thieves were staying, and their stash of $350,000-worth of stolen loot amassed over other break-ins. The kid, Landon Crabtree, is going to get the key to the city for his help.

We hear stories like this every so often, but I think the real news here is that apps like Find my iPad and Find my iPhone are still a surprise to a lot of people. Google has a similar system in place with Latitude, and BlackBerry has a security suite called Protect that not only can track down via GPS, but also remotely lock and wipe devices, much like Find my iPad. For those of us steeped in mobile tech, the fact that location of your phone or tablet can be remotely pinpointed is kind of old hat, but I know plenty of late adopters that are freaked out by the idea. Stories like this definitely serve to combat those Big Brother anxieties.

Apple's products tend to be hot commodities for muggers... Have any of you new iPad owners had to deal with theft? Is there really anything to worry about if you've got Find my iPad or Find my iPhone installed?

Add your experience to our True tales of Find my iPhone in the iCloud Forum.

Source: MSNBC via 9to5Mac

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Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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Reader comments

Find my iPad app helps 8-year-old catch burglars and $350,000-worth of stolen property


Am I crazy, or eventually are bad guys going to figure this out and simply turn off the device until they can wipe it? You can't find it if it's off, right?

I have wiped my phone and restored it using my brothers apple ID and when i logged into icloud and find my iphone it still found the device even though it was logged in under another Apple ID.

In Las Vegas someone's iPad was stollen and they used the Find my iPad to find it. They went to the police with the information and the police refused to help them. It was sad really. Not sure why they wouldn't help them. It's always great though when it works out for people.

What about the burglar's right to privacy? Did they give permission to have their location shared?

While it is great to have the ability to track your lost/stolen iDevice, its not so great that you can be tracked all the time even when the device is turned off by big brother. Its a tough to decide which is more precious, your iDevice (covered by insurance) or your right to privacy while going about every day life.

Its called a necessary evil. Even if it's a little unsettling that your location is being tracked, the end justifies the means because there is no proof (as of yet) that "big brother" is tracking your location for evil. There are, however, many stories of people tracking down their stolen iDevice with the service. I am one of them and am very grateful for that the service is available, it's free and it works well.

Criminals are not the smartest lot. They will steal things, go into a pawn shop, and use their real ID to sell the stolen property. Must be genetics.

I've read some good stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how so much attempt you set to make this type of excellent informative website.

This same disgusting thievery is commonplace at the Port Authority Bus Terminal's Lost & Found Dept. in NYC by PABT Supervisors. Google  “Donna Lebourne abc news" & see the vile face of shame being confronted & exposed. 

Port Authority Supervisor Donna Lebourne has an outside job, she is the Vice President of her & her husband’s charity Caribbean Sports International that donates cellphones & other electronics.  If you lost an item at the Port Authority Bus Terminal and did not get it back, contact her charity, perhaps she may donate your item back to you out of the kindness of her evil heart. It's very easy to be charitable when you are giving away other peoples' property.
The Port Authority allows these crimes by their supervisors & their enablers to go unpunished.

The Port Authority also has an illegal policy of throwing lost valid passports found at the PABT in the garbage, for anyone to find & use for their own nefarious purposes. The Port Authority’s illegal passport policy is criminally insane in this age of global terrorism and rampant identity theft, This is an act of treason against the United States of America. The Port Authority has become an imminent threat to national security.

Google “Port Authority - passports” & “found, stolen, trashed by PA” 

No one should be above the law no matter who they are and who they work for.