Who's got my phone? There's an app for that

A 15-year-old Menlo-Atherton High School student is facing criminal charges over the alleged theft from a locker room of a cell-phone case and three cell phones, one of which led to his undoing, according to police.

The student allegedly cut padlocks and took contents from several lockers while the students were in physical education class, then left for his home in Redwood City with property with an estimated value of $1,420, Sgt. Sherman Hall of the Atherton Police Department told the Almanac.

Little did the student know that one of the cell phone owners had installed a "find my phone" application which, when queried, led police to the student's home, police said.

The student confessed, police said, adding that a stolen hard disk drive and $20 in cash are still outstanding.

The suspect's name was withheld because he is a minor.


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Posted by hahahahaha
a resident of another community
on Jun 5, 2012 at 12:36 pm


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Posted by Tech Control
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm

It won't take long for the thieves to figure out how to disable that app. So where is Apple on this??? They've created such hysteria over their devices that they should step up and develop a registration method to track serial numbers so a phone could not be re-activated by anyone other than the original owner. That would put an end to cutting open school lockers and having phones grabbed out of your hand on the bus or on BART.

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Posted by to foolish
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 5, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Hint: He's 15 years old.

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Posted by Hmmmm
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 6, 2012 at 10:52 pm

foolish seems to know a lot about the various laws on the books that apply. It makes one wonder whether foolish is the cop identified in the article as busting the 15 year-old, Sgt. Sherman Hall. Way to go, what a collar!

If a thief simply removes the SIM card from the phone after stealing it, it's not traceable any longer. Not hard to do. This kid screwed up, and hopefully learned a lesson from all of this.

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Posted by surprising
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 10, 2012 at 1:51 am

Surprisingly, some criminals don't remove the SIM card. Some very foolish people will even provide false information to the police about how and when they found and identified a stolen cellphone. Surprisingly, providing false information to the police is not a crime, unless you happen to be accusing someone else of a crime.

You don't need fancy software to find out what happened to your stolen phone. Next time you receive a text message, make a note of the exact time it came in. If you want extra credit, turn the phone off for a few hours, and have a friend send you messages, then turn the phone on, and make a note of when the message come in. FInally, put your notes aside for about a month and wait for your phone bill. Your phone bill will show exactly when the messages were displayed on the phone, and will match your notes perfectly. You will even know the exact time the phone was powered on. If you can get a judge to write a search warrant, you can even find out the general location of your phone when it was turned on.

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