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The news over the last year has been stuffed with tales of stolen iDevices and the measures used to present those thefts, but it's been woefully silent on whether such techniques actually work. But they do, as Stuff.co.nz reports (via Cult of Mac), and they do it well. Using Apple's Find My iPad feature, father and son duo Chris and Markham Phillips of New Zealand were able to hunt down the thief who took their iPad and even retrieve it.
The trouble started in Nelson, New Zealand, when the pair returned from a restaurant only to find that someone had gone through their car and run off with cash, glasses, and their iPad. But they quickly remembered Apple's security feature. "As despair and disgust begin to kick in, we remember a newly installed tracking application on both the stolen iPad and the retained iPhone," Markham--the son--told Stuff.co.nz. "We fire up the app [and] the iPad icon pings onto the map."
Source: Cult of Mac
The chase led them to a nearby suburb, and they called the police as they headed over there themselves. The house they arrived at was filled with "suspicious, sunglass-wearing scoundrels," one of whom even used a BMW as a getaway car, and by then the device had been turned off and was no longer registering on Find My iPhone. (This all sounds so different from such crimes in the States.)
That didn't deter them. They sent a message saying, "It's a small town. We've seen you, your car, and your friends. Drop the bag and iPad at Countdown by the Warehouse by 5pm tomorrow and we’ll leave the cops out of it." And surprise, surprise, they got it back. Unfortunately for the alleged crook, the phone call to the cops earlier caught up with him and he's now in custody anyway.
Cult of Mac notes that the Find My iPhone/iPad features been used in far more high profile incidents than this. Just last month, for instance, it played a key role in the arrest of two suspects from Detroit in relation to the murder of a University of Michigan medical student.
Click here to follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.