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Well those of you who follow me on twitter would have seen my excitement when A long time client phoned me and asked me if there is a way where I can wipe his data of his laptop that has just been stolen out of his car.

Here is the full story of how Apple’s mobileme helped me track down the ipad and in effect lead them to a safehouse of a local syndicate.

After the client phoned me I told him that its not possibl to wipe his laptop but I asked him where his ipad was.
He said that its with his laptop in his laptop bag, immediately I remembered registering the ipad on mobileme.

I logged on to the website and there it was, I could see the ipad on the move, I phoned the client back and said I can track the ipad, after which he immediately went to the police station, where a police officer said they will go after it with me guiding them.

As I followed the ipad ( with intervals of 1 – 10 second refreshes ), I followed the ipad to the next town. Followed them to a yard in a area in nelspruit. Doubting the accuracy of the google maps ( having 20 meter accuracy, I think ) I told them I think I know which yard they are in.

As there was 4 driveways next to each other they were not sure, which one it was. I headed over to google maps, got a street view and emailed the top view and street view to the client pointing out the correct yard.

They called for backup ( obviously they were not sure if the men were perhaps armed ), once the backup arrived they went into the yard, and the people on the yard played dumb and claimed they know nothing. I sent the signal for the ipad to display a message and make a sound, they heard the sound and caught the criminals.

In the same house they found 8 empty laptop bags, a whole bunch of cameras, and expensive pro photography equipment that was stolen the same day.

This just goes to show that sometimes we underestimate / overlook the technology and services available to us everyday. I sent this story to the newspaper in the hope to bring a little awareness of what is possible.. And surprise, surprise …. Front page.. Couldnt imagine that it would be such a good story..

Thank you Apple and Google.

Janes Oosthuizen

Author Janes Oosthuizen

Programmer and Tech Junky from Cape Town, South-Africa. I have been programming for more than 15 years in various languages including ( CSS, HTML, javascript, PHP, MySQL, Wordpress and many other ).

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