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iPhone-grabbing thief picks wrong phone at wrong time


We love iPhone/iPad vs. unwitting criminal stories, especially ones that end happily. Across this category, though, it's hard to hold a candle to the story of Jordan Sturm, Horatio Toure, and one particular purloined iPhone.

As reported by the Chronicle, Sturm was standing on the street in San Francisco's SOMA neighborhood this past Monday when Toure rode up on a bicycle, grabbed the iPhone out of her hand and sped away. Most of the time, the phone would be gone for good, or (with luck) tracked down by Apple's Find My iPhone service. In this particular case, though, there was an easier way.

The iPhone in question is owned by Covia Labs, and it was being used to test the company's Alert & Respond software for police officers and military personnel. CEO David Kahn had asked Sturm to step outside -- with a phone running A&R's GPS live tracking app -- so he could demonstrate the geographic tool to his PR folk. Moments after she walked out the door, the system came to life... and showed an indicator heading off down the street at high speed. Oops.

Sturm ran back inside, they called police; Toure was arrested ten minutes later and about half a mile away, in possession of the stolen phone. Unlucky for him, but lucky for Covia Labs; they saved the cost of a new iPhone and gained a whole bunch of free publicity.

Note: Several commenters are insinuating that this theft was set up as a stunt to provide exposure for Covia Labs. There is absolutely no evidence to support that theory at this time; the suspect was arrested and details on his arrest were provided by the SFPD, per the original SFGate story. The suspect was booked on felony charges and placed in jail.

[via Techmeme]

Photo by oedipusphinx | flickr: cc

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