Thief snared by family’s cunning technological web

2014-01-23 00:00

A THIEF who broke into a Warner Beach, Durban, home found himself snared in a technologically spun web spanning Durban and Cape Town.

Tech-savvy Durban mom Barbara Whiting, and her daughter Lauryn in Cape Town, aided in the recovery of a stolen iPhone and other items after the robbery in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Stan Whiting and wife Barbara were asleep when a thief entered their home at about 2.40 am and stole Stan’s iPhone, Barbara’s iPad and a wallet.

“My wife woke up after she heard noises and saw a figure in our room. She thought it was me, but when she realised I was still in bed, she woke me up. We ran down the stairs and chased him [the suspect], but he had already managed to climb over the fence and head down the railway line,” he said.

Stan said that instead of panicking, his wife remained calm and used the “Find Your Phone” app on her iPhone to locate the direction in which the iPad was travelling.

The app allows the user to locate other devices connected to it in real time through the device’s GPS.

He said that his wife and their daughter monitored the device while communicating with their teenaged son Robert, who joined them in tracking the suspect. He also notified the Community Crime Prevention Organisation (CCPO) in Amanzimtoti, who aided in the search. Leon Joone of the CCPO said they followed the tracking of the device and found that the iPhone was travelling along the railway line.

“Our members tracked the device all the way to the train station in Toti and managed to nab the suspect before we notified the police. After the suspect was caught, he pointed out items which were stolen earlier in the day and pointed out the houses where they were taken from,” he said.

Whiting said they had managed to find the suspect between 4 am and 4.30 am, and that having the device they had, and the app, made it easy for them to be able to track and recover the items. “It’s such a useful tool and with my wife and daughter being so competent with technology, we managed to get the items back,” he said.

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