Finney finds out how woman got back computer, iPad

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Imagine losing your computer or iPad to theft -- now imagine losing both. Finney finds out the extraordinary thing her boyfriend did next.

Imagine losing your computer or your iPad to theft. Now imagine losing both. It happened to a San Francisco woman, but what she and her boyfriend did next is extraordinary.

Lauren Parker is like most of us -- she relies on her computer and smart device to keep her life and work on track. So recently when her devices took off on a wild ride, Parker went along too.

Parker and her boyfriend, Joey D'Angelo, were grocery shopping in San Francisco one Saturday and when they got back Parker's car, they found out her car was broken into. Parker's laptop and iPad were gone.

They spoke with a police officer who told them property crimes like theirs were a low priority.

D'Angelo said, "We returned back to Parker's place, dropped off her groceries because we had perishables, and then I said, 'Honey, we're going to get these guys.'"

They turned on the Find My iPhone app and the chase was on.

"San Francisco traffic being what it is, it was very frustrating, because we could see her phone, or her iPad, going south on the 101," D'Angelo said.

Off they went heading south, then north on 101. They were getting closer and closer.

Find My iPhone then showed the device leaving San Francisco and heading across the Bay Bridge. Parker and D'Angelo were in hot pursuit.

"In my mind I was thinking, 'If they go to a private residence or a dark alley, there's nothing that I would have done.' But unfortunately for these guys, they went to a very crowded place right across the street from Laney College, which was the Oakland Swap Meet," D'Angelo said.

The thieves had a stack of lap tops and smart devices and were just over there and D'Angelo was determined to get Parker's devices back.

Finney: "Could you see your laptop in the pile of laptops?"
Parker: "I could. And actually, when he was running across the street, I could see my bright red case around my iPad. And I said, 'Joey that's my stuff!' And so that's when Joey took off after him."

"I just made a quick judgment call, and I ran across onto the island, and told him to place all the stolen property down on the deck, and that we would not call the police. And I told him to 'Do it now!' in a very forceful and stern voice. And he did it, and then took off running," D'Angelo said.

They picked out Parker's laptop and iPad, found a police officer a few blocks away and gave him the other computers.

They wish police would have done the footwork rather than themselves, but Parker is happy to have her computer and iPad.

7 On Your Side did a spot check of police departments around the Bay Area, asking for their policies on thefts that can be tracked on Find My iPhone. Here are their responses below:

San Francisco Police Department
Once the victim calls 911 and explains the issue the despatcher will transfer the call to Department Operation Center where the officer will ask for consent to use their username and password for the "Find My Phone" app. If the phone is off they cannot track it but they will check periodically to see if it has been turned on. Once they receive an address using the app they will contact the nearest officer to the address.

San Jose Police Department
It is a property crime so if officers are available they would be sent over to the address. They might knock on the door, but would not be allowed to force entry without a search warrant.

Oakland Police Department
No response at all to our inquiries

Napa Police Department
The victim must show paper work that proves they own the phone. Once that is done the police would get a search warrant which could take up to a few hours. The judge must approve the GPS accuracy. Then they will pursue to obtain the stolen device.

Related Topics:
technology7 On Your SideiphoneiPadappapplecrimetheftlaptopscomputerselectronicssmartphonesHighway 101San FranciscoOakland
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