Special app helps track down stolen cell phone

Posted: Updated:
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Adriana Garcia almost lost the iPhone she can’t live without, after it was stolen right out of her own hands as she waited for the bus near 67th and Peoria Avenues Thursday morning.

“He just took it, a big, tall guy.  I’m pretty small, so there was no way to catch up with him,” said Adriana Garcia.

But what the thief didn’t know, Garcia’s cell phone was armed with the “Find my iPhone" app,  which she had recently installed.

“I was like, ‘just in case,’” said Garcia. “I had barely turned it on yesterday, again, because it was off for awhile.”

A coincidence which quickly helped Peoria police track down her phone to a Glendale neighborhood.

Officers said they located a man who matched the suspect's description. They began talking to him and sent a signal to the stolen phone which began pinging in the man’s pocket.

Police said they arrested Christopher Lopez, and booked him on charges of robbery in connection with the crime.  Detectives said Lopez admitted to crime and said he stole the phone to raise money to get his car out of impound from a drug arrest the day before, according to police.

“Things like smart phones already have a built in GPS, so it’s pretty easy to track these down when they’re lost,” said Ken Colburn, President and CEO of Data Doctors.

However, he warns the smart phones don’t necessarily come pre-set, so it’s up to the user to download the app and know how to use it.

“Time is of the essence when (your phone) goes missing,” said Colburn. “The quicker you can find out where it is, the more likely you can recover it.”

A possibility turned reality for Adriana Garcia, who urges others to download this app.

“I just want more people to know about it, be more familiar with apps, more familiar with what their phone can do nowadays.”

Data Doctors recommends android users look into the apps “Prey project” and “Lookout.”

For more information, you can read their column at: http://www.datadoctors.com/help/columns/21818-Tips-for-tracking-your-laptop-smartphone-or-tablet-PC