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Teenager With iPhone App Knowledge Helps Catch Suspected Burglar


"When the phone ran, the guy kind of knew the jig was up."

A team composed of Seattle police, a 14-year-old boy and an iPhone app have helped catch a suspected burglar and recover thousands of dollars worth of stolen merchandise.

The Seattle Times reports that 14-year-old Max Malkin was able to help police track down a man who is suspected of stealing from his family's home more than $4,000 worth of electronics, among other items. Here was the burglar's mistake: he took Max's mother's iPhone. Max was able to help police using the Find My iPhone app.

Here's how it went down according to the Times:

An officer "quarterbacked" the search from Malkin's kitchen, communicating with officers on the street until a suspect was detained — and a well-timed phone call to the iPhone enabled police to recover the stolen loot, said Max's father, Harold Malkin.

"When the phone rang," Malkin said Tuesday, "the guy kind of knew the jig was up."

The Times reports that the burglary took place on Saturday evening. Harold reportedly heard noises in the early morning hours but assumed it was the family cat. When he went downstairs the next morning he found many items missing and phoned the police. But it was Max who came to the rescue, knowing how to work the Find My iPhone app.

The Times reports Harold as saying that from the time officer Kurt Knox and Max opened a laptop to use the app, which the iPhone App Store states will help locate your missing phone on a map and protect your data, the suspect was caught within 15 minutes.

The Times notes that this was the suspect's third arrest this year and that he has been convicted in the past for second-degree burglary and second-degree possession of stolen property, among other convictions. The Times reports that if the suspect's fingerprints match those found inside the Malkin home, he could be charged with residential burglary.

This isn't the first time the app has come in handy for police departments. The LA Times reported in November 2011 that Find My iPhone helped lead the LAPD to the suspect of an armed robbery.

[H/T USA Today]

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