Electronics thieves caught thanks to iPhone GPS

Posted by Mike Luttrell

A man who had prior convictions for burglary and grand theft is back behind bars after he made the mistake of stealing an iPhone that had the GPS tracking app Mobile Me installed.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a 41-year-old guy was standing innocently at a street corner holding his Macbook when a man who was reportedly over 6 feet tall and 400 pounds snatched the laptop.

The victim was not going to just sid idly by, though. He chased the huge man and actually tackled him to the ground. Unfortunately, that only made things worse as his iPhone fell out of his pocket. At that time, the burglar's accomplice jumped out of a Lexus and grabbed the phone and the two criminals sped off with both Apple devices.

The victim had the foresight to subscribe to Mobile Me, an app that costs $99 per year to provide instant tracking service through the iPhone's GPS capabilities. Police were able to track the device, which led them to a housing project in San Francisco.

They spotted a Lexus and staked out the area. When two men got into the Lexus and started passing an iPhone back and forth, the police jumped into action. It was indeed the stolen phone.

Both men were charged with burglary, and one of them had quite a record already: Maifala Tusi was free but has prior convictions for second-degree burglary, grand theft, possession of burglary tools, and attempted possession of stolen property.

The Chronicle reports that the San Francisco area has been rife with iPhone theft crimes. "Some days there are three iPhone robberies on the court calendar," said the city's District Attorney Brian Buckelew.

The victim's laptop is still missing.