Manchester woman uses app to assist police helicopter in tracking her stolen iPhone

In a case which will bring a smile to the lips of any iPhone user, the handset was stolen from the handbag of the woman as she had lunch recently in Manchester's Arndale Centre.

According to the Manchester Evening News, after calling her husband, he was able to start tracking the handset from their Stalybridge home and advise police that the handset was heading northwards out of Manchester city centre.

"The force helicopter, India 99, was then scrambled from its base in Irlam and it pin-pointed the suspected thief's car thanks to the second-by-second updates from the husband", says the paper.

Police on the ground - in their patrol cars - were then able to give chase as the car headed north along the M61 near Bolton, before being stopped 30 minutes after the handset was stolen, some 30 miles north of Manchester.

"The iPhone was seized from the car, along with other suspected stolen property", says the paper, adding that the driver was arrested on suspicion of theft and released on bail pending further police enquiries.

As with previous, but less spectacular, iPhone recoveries, this incident centered on the use of the Find My iPhone app, which uses GPS and cellular base station triangulation to track the handset via a web interface.

Greater Manchester Police Superintendent Vanessa Jardine is quoted by the newspaper as urging people with smartphones to download the app to help police solve more crime.

"This app is absolutely fantastic, not just from the police perspective but also for general members of the public if they mislay their phone. I would encourage everybody to look at it. It's not just for iPhones, it's [also] for BlackBerries. I will certainly be downloading it", she told the paper.

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