A recent burglary victim near Sherwood, Nottingham attempted to track his stolen iPhone with Apple’s Find My iPhone app on his iPad, only to have police bust into the wrong apartment.
Maybe Robin Hood took it.
According to The Telegraph, after the owner of the stolen phone tracked it via GPS, police were sent to the wrong vacant apartment, leaving landlord Robert Kerr with a broken door. Kerr states, “how accurate are these trackers? I’m unsure whether they can pinpoint a phone to a specific house,” adding “the victim of the burglary has almost made me a victim by saying the phone was in my house when it was not.” Kerr is pissed. But Nottingham police have stated that they are not responsible for the cost of the door, as they’d “reasonably believed” that the iPhone and suspect were in the apartment they were directed to, adding that residents had tipped them off that someone appeared to have been inside the typically abandoned building.
The Telegraph also mentioned that some sort of phone tracking expert claims that while lost phone apps are impressive, they cannot pinpoint a single room in a densely built-up locale. In a review of some of the more popular phone-tracking apps, it was found that the Find My iPhone app was able to track a phone to a specific parking space in the lot at a Home Depot. Still, in the same review, the app wasn’t able to track a phone in a dense suburban neighborhood, putting the blue dot on the tracking map half a block away from the phone’s actual location.
Basically, phone-tracking apps can be useful in certain situations and environments, but are not a definitive fix for finding lost devices. Kerr has written to the Independent Police Complaints Commission in his country, in an attempt to recover the nearly £500 he’d paid for a new door. There is no mention of whether or not the phone in question has ever been recovered.
In related news, last December the Find My iPhone app was able to assist porn actress Jesse Jane in successfully tracking her stolen iPhone.