Howick man tracks down thieves with a little app

2013-07-31 00:00

THE technology to track someone’s exact location is no longer the domain of spies and government agencies.

Thanks to the “Find my iPhone” Apple app, Craig Pickering from Howick was able to trace his stolen iPad and catch the thieves red-handed.

“On Saturday, we attended my aunt’s memorial service in Scottburgh. When we got back to my brother’s house in Scottburgh we found that several things were missing, among them was my iPad.

“So we turned on the app [and on my iPhone] we saw the iPad’s location and then it moved. We immediately knew that it was stolen,” Pickering told The Witness.

The family informed the security company and flagged down police. The police accompanied them as they followed the locating application.

“My map-reading skills weren’t so good; we went in the wrong direction at first, but eventually we got it right. We stopped this bakkie. We said to the guys, ‘Listen, where’s our stuff?’ and they denied having the item.

“I asked everyone to keep quiet. You can play a sound [with the app], so we played the sound and under all this construction equipment on the bakkie you heard it. Much to our surprise we found it. The look of surprise [on the thieves’ faces] was priceless!”

It was Pickering’s PA, Vivika Holwill, who advised him to get the app and how to use it.

“The main reason we got the app for him is to track him. He is always disappearing, we call him Houdini. I use the app to find where he is. It’s great. My mom’s boss also recovered her iPad the same way.

“It was stolen off her desk here [in Howick] and she tracked it to somewhere in Durban. She sent the police the co-ordinates and they recovered it,” said Holwill.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed that Scottburgh police were investigating a case of house breaking.

Three suspects aged between 39 and 40 were arrested and appeared in the Scottburgh Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The case was adjourned to August 5 for a bail application and the trio will remain in custody.

Other stolen items recovered include a passport, an iPod, a Blackberry, a garden hose and a bottle of whiskey.

“This was a win for everyone. The security company, the police and us. The police arrested the guy, he was charged, he doesn’t have a leg to stand on. We got everything back, most importantly the whiskey!” said Pickering.

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