Police use Find My to track stolen iPhone to the apartment of thief's mom

iPhone XS Find My app
iPhone XS Find My app (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • A man had his iPhone and wallet stolen during an altercation.
  • Police were able to trace the iPhone to an apartment.
  • That apartment belonged to the mother of the thief.

Police officers in Allentown, Pa, were able to locate a stolen iPhone after they tracked it to a nearby home. It turned out that the home belonged to the mother of the man who stole it.

As with so many things, there's more to it this story. According to a WFMZ News report, the victim was working at a home when he was attacked before having his iPhone and wallet taken.

The victim and other contractors reported having frequent issues with the owner of a car, who was reportedly told several times not to park behind the property. On Tuesday, the victim reported finding the car again parked in the spot and decided to take a photo of the car and its license plate, according to court records.

The owner of the car, Elias D. Colon-Soto, didn't take too kindly to having it photographed and voiced his displeasure by beating the victim.

The car's owner, later identified as Colon-Soto, emerged from a nearby second-floor, Tilghman Street apartment and ran outside, according to records. As the victim tried to snap a photo of the car, Colon-Soto allegedly grabbed the cell phone and punched the man in the head several times.

Colon-Soto took the man's iPhone and wallet and fled. But taking the iPhone was his downfall – because police were able to track it to a local apartment that turned out to be owned by his mother. The report mentions that police used "an app to track iPhones". I presume the unnamed app was the Find My app_ that has been so ueful in reuniting people with stolen Apple kit many times before.

Ultimately police searched the apartment and found the iPhone and wallet.

With permission to search the apartment, police said they found the phone and wallet, minus $260 in cash, hidden in a pair of sweatpants.

Colon-Soto is now in Lehigh County Jail awaiting a preliminary hearing after failing to post bail.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.