Woman finds stolen iPhone as suspected thief’s photos appear on Photo Stream via Apple’s iCloud

“Unbeknown to the thief, pictures he began taking on the phone were automatically uploaded to the owner’s iCloud account, which allows data to be stored remotely,” Murray Wardrop reports for The Telegraph.

“The phone’s owner, Katy McCaffrey then set about unmasking him by posting a string of the images on Facebook in an album titled Stolen iPhone Adventures,” Wardrop reports. “The images showed the suspect, who is a worker on the liner Disney Wonder, enjoying an ocean sunset, going to parties and drinking with other crew members. American Miss McCaffrey, who took the cruise trip in April, identified the suspect after reading the name on a tag on his uniform in one of the images. She added captions to some of photos such as: ‘here’s a beautiful sunset [he] had time to capture, all on my stolen iPhone.’ …In later pictures, the suspect also took snapshots of his pregnant girlfriend, who is understood to be another Disney Cruise employee.”

Wardrop reports, “The alleged thief has now been placed on “administrative leave” and the phone will be returned to Miss McCaffrey as soon as the ship returns to port, Disney Cruises said. A spokesman said: “We take these matters very seriously. We have a zero tolerance policy for this type of behavior. ‘We recovered the phone and we’ve been in touch with the guest.'”

“The feature can be turned off with a simple on/off switch in the phone’s settings but as this was not disabled, the images captured after the alleged theft were automatically uploaded to iCloud,” Wardrop reports. “Miss McCaffrey could also have used the service to trace the phone using its Find My iPhone feature, which allows the user to see their phone’s location on a map using GPS technology.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Idiot.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Thanks to Apple’s ‘Find My iPad,’ California police arrest Christmas present thief – December 27, 2011
Cathedral thief tracked down using Apple’s Find my iPad – April 8, 2011
NYC thieves want iPhones, victims are fighting back with tech like Apple’s ‘Find My iPhone’ – July 2, 2009


  1. I hope to be as lucky as this iPhone owner. I lost my iPad (3rd gen) on Monday. It was the 64GB Verizon LTE model. I spent a lot of money on that thing.

    On Monday I was able to track its location using iCloud.com. It was driving down a street very near my work. I naively thought, “maybe my wife found it and is bringing it to me”. A few seconds later it stopped tracking and it hasn’t been online since. 🙁

    There haven’t been any pictures uploaded to Photo Stream from the iPad. But, for that to happen the device would have to be online, and I’m supposed to be emailed as soon as the iPad comes back online. I’m pretty bummed. 🙁

    1. I lost my iPad 2 in China two weeks ago; it hasn’t popped up on the grid. But since it had a screen lock, it might just have been wiped. It has already been replaced with a 3rd gen iPad.

  2. my GF had the brilliant thought of suggesting to apple that they make it so that a thief can’t turn off the device without putting in your password.

  3. There is always the possibility that the dumbass tourist lady actually lost her phone while on the cruise and this guy finds it decides that because of her limited info on the phone he can keep it. … so who really made the mistake here…

    1. Yeah, you might think that way. An honest person would think that this is something of value to someone that they lost, beyond just the $hundreds for hardware/apps, and they would turn it in to the lost and found.

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