How two fantastic policemen helped me get my stolen iPad back

By admin
14 January 2016

With all the negative stories we hear about the South African Police Service, the good work some excellent policemen are doing every single day often slips under the radar. But when YOU reader Charmain's iPad was stolen from her car, she had a very different experience of SAPS.

With all the negative stories we hear about the South African Police Service, the good work some excellent policemen are doing every single day often slips under the radar.

But when YOU reader Charmain's iPad was stolen from her car, she had a very different experience of SAPS. She shares her story.

"On Wednesday 5 January 2016 on my way home from work and my normal route. When I stopped at the robot on the corner of Visagie Street and Nelson Mandela Drive in Pretoria, an arm snaked into my open window -- a man was trying to snatch my cellphone!

I struggled with the thief until he eventually let go he let go – but then he bent down and grabbed my iPad from below my legs on the floor. Without thinking, I unclipped my seatbelt, flung the door open and ran down the road behind him.

Five men jumped out from the bakkie in front of my car and chased after the thief too. Unfortunately, he had a head start and jumped over a nearby fence and disappeared.

Defeated, I returned to the car, where my poor daughter was in tears and shaking like a leaf. But on our way home, she remembered the tablet had the 'Find My iPad' app installed on it. Would we be able to track it down?

We stopped at a garage and logged into the app on my daughter's tablet, which was in the boot. What a wonderful feature this is on any Apple product! The map on the app showed the co-ordinates of the last know location for my iPad. Thrilled, we dashed off to Pretoria Moot Police Station and gave them the background.

These clever apps can help you track down your lost and stolen devices – and you probably already have them installed. PHOTO: Pexels/iTunes App Store These clever apps can help you track down your lost and stolen devices – and you probably already have them installed. PHOTO: Pexels/iTunes App Store

How to track your phone if it gets stolen

Officers Mike Mahlangu and Milano Mangwani drove with us to the last known location of the iPad. The map took us to an overgrown, dilapidated building in Salvokop, Pretoria, which seemed to be home to about 50 people.

But Mike and Milano were calm and confident, walking up to everyone and checking to see if anyone had the iPad. Unfortunately, it had been switched off so that it only showed the last known location.

But then my clever daughter Roxanne remembered she could put a the iPad in 'lost mode', which meant that once it was switched on, 'This iPad has been lost' would show on the screen. She could have it emit a loud beeping noise.

More policemen and women arrived and Mike and Milano asked us to leave while they searched. We told Mike as soon as it was switched on we would notify their station so that they are given the new co-ordinates and left. I thought this was the end of my iPad, it was gone. There was no way they would find it.

Roxy and I left and en-route home, we stopped at McDonalds to get dinner as it was already late evening. When we stopped, Roxy's iPad notified us that mine had been switched on! It looked as though the iPad was at Central Police station. We phoned the station and the person on duty told us that Mike and Milano had recovered the stolen iPad and handed it in at Pretoria Central Police Station as it was in their jurisdiction.

We headed back to the Moot Police station, where Mike and Milano gave me the case number and told me I could collect my iPad the next day!

Within just three hours of it being stolen, the men (and women) in blue had recovered my iPad. My faith in SAPS has been restored and I will forever be grateful to Moot Police Station. Needless to say, I now put my iPad in the boot when I travel and have taken other precautions to prevent something like this happening again.

So much negativity surrounds the Police of South Africa but I can sincerely say that this isn't always the case -- don't make judgements until you have worked with them yourself!"

This story was submitted to YOU by one of our readers and has been minimally edited.

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