Find My iPhone hunt leads to family assaulted in home on Thanksgiving Day

“Three people banged down a family’s door on Thanksgiving Day, claiming they’d tracked a lost iPhone to the home and demanded the phone back before attacking the family, police say,” NBC 4 New York reports.

“The suspects, two women and a man, went to the house on Randall Avenue in the Bronx at about 3 a.m. last Thursday and demanded their lost iPhone from the residents inside, a 43-year-old woman and her son,” NBC 4 reports. “The family told the group they didn’t have their phone and invited them to call the police.”

NBC 4 reports, “They were finally able to get the suspects out of the home, but when the mother and son tried to take down the license plate number of their car, the suspects attacked them…”

More info, surveillance images, and tips line phone number in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Well, that sounds like a pretty awful way to spend Thanksgiving.

22 Comments

  1. That’s terrible.

    The locations from Find my iPhone aren’t even precise enough to narrow down a specific house. So the victims were most likely just on same block as the missing iPhone and had nothing to do with its theft.

    1. FMiP is accurate to within 25 feet and lags 30-60 seconds. That may be tough in a dense urban environment, like New York City, but it’s good enough for most people.

      1. It’s accurate to 25 feet if the device can get a good GPS signal. Otherwise, the best it can do is guess based on the location of the cell tower. My wife and I use “Find My Friends” (similar concept), and it sometimes will show us multiple blocks away from where we really are.

        ——RM

  2. Find My iPhone is only as accurate as the navigation measurements used to localize its location. GPS and cell tower triangulation are estimates, only, and their accuracies vary with the environment (e.g., lots of tall buildings generating multi path) and the GPS satellite or cell tower geometry at that particular time/place.

    But people are gonna blame Apple. What else is new?

    1. I watched something on TV where an airport security officer had stolen an iPhone at the airport. Investigators went to his house and he denied taking the phone. When they made it play a sound he knew he was busted, so he turned over the phone.

      In this case, the family could have proved their innocence just as easily.

      Personally, I wouldn’t have answered the door at 3am in Bronx and called the cops if they didn’t leave.

    1. Lost android phones are actually easier to find if they have location services turned on.., In addition to GPS and cell tower they can also use wifi-hotspots to triangulate the location.

  3. FMiP helped me track down an iPad I left on an airplane. Four days after I left it, I received a message from my iPad telling me it had been turned on and connected to the Internet.

    Apparently, a flight attendant left it with the ramp agent. Then a construction worker doing airport renovations took it home as a gift for his kid. The airline helped me get it back. It had the kids Apple ID and some songs loaded on it.

    I was told by the police to drive to the neighborhood where my phone was and park down the street. Then to call the local station. When the police approached the house and had someone at the door. Then I could have the iPad sound off. This would give the officers probable cause to enter the house and retrieve my iPad. I would never have to deal directly with the people in the house.

    Fortunately, I didn’t have to do that. But that was the “safe” way to retrieve my stolen device

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