Victim has her iPhone stolen and then tracks thief down using Find My iPhone

Find My Devices on a MacBook Air
Find My Devices on a MacBook Air (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

What you need to know

  • A Wisconsin woman had her iPhone X stolen while in a bar.
  • She was able to track it using the Find My app on another device.
  • The thief was then cornered and arrested.

A Madison, Wisconsin woman whose iPhone X was stolen at a bar was able to track it and then find the thief using the Find My app on another device.

According to a WKOW report, the victim noticed that her iPhone, debit card, and driver's license were stolen when she left a bar this past Sunday. Once she identified that the card had been used at a nearby store she was able to get security footage of the thief. And then things got interesting.

By using the Find My app on another device, the victim's mother realized that it was near a store that bought used phones. And the game was afoot.

With the "Find My Phone" app keeping tabs on the device, the victim's mother realized there was a phone store near the location. The store purchases phones, so mother and daughter shared their information with store employee Chantal Schroeder. Schroeder says a few hours later, "...a guy walked in with a white, iPhone X," which matched the stolen phone's description.

Schroeder, the victim, and her mother detained the man with the help of bystanders until police arrived, with the thief arrested on the spot.

"I was just, I'm not letting this man go," the victim says of her arrival with her mother at the store, and barricading the store doors with some bystanders to give police time to arrive. [The thief] allegedly knocked the victim's mother down during the confrontation.

The victim now has her phone back but has asked not to be named in case the thief is able to post bail.

The Find My app comes pre-installed on all iPhones, iPads, and Macs and can be used in situations such as this. It's proven invaluable before, with a recent incident in Australia also returning a stolen device to its owner.

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.