Nelson man Marcus Lovell is reunited with his iphone after it was stolen from a taxi and found at the thiefs house in Westport. Photo: Andrew Board.

Thief caught out by phone app, facebook and friends


A Nelson man’s stolen iphone was retrieved after the thief turned it on, pointing the way to his house in Westport via the ‘find my iphone’ app which locates lost phones via its built-in GPS unit.

Marcus Lovell says he must have left the phone in the back of a taxi last Thursday night and was gutted when he couldn’t find it the next day. He was resigned to losing it forever when the thief – who turned out to be another taxi passenger – turned on the phone which was located by the app when Marcus searched for it. He says he couldn’t believe his good luck.

“I mean seriously, the guy can’t be too smart. He threw away the sim card thinking that’s how it could be tracked but that’s not how iphones work. I’m rapt I got it back.”

Marcus posted the address of the thief on his Facebook page and explained what had happened when Aaron Ewers an old school friend from Waimea College, now living in Reefton, saw the post and called some friends in Westport to see if they knew who lived there.

One of the friends recognised the car in the driveway and went to have a word to him and shortly after some choice words were exchanged Marcus’ phone was back in friendly hands.

“So I put that post on after 5 o’clock Saturday afternoon after him turning the phone on at around 3pm. Aaron’s mate had the phone back by 7:30. How unbelievable is that? Thank god for ‘find my iPhone’, Facebook, and burly miners,” he says.

He says losing the phone was like breaking up with a girlfriend and he was most upset about some holiday photos that he hadn’t saved.

He had filed a report with police and says he will be happy to tell them not to bother looking anymore.

The ‘find my iphone’ app can be bought through itunes and takes just a couple of minutes to set up says Marcus.

“That’s a $1000 phone and I think the app cost me $1.29, so it’s been money well spent.”