Dumb Criminal Story: Thief Busted After Stealing iPhone in GPS Test

Its hard to feel bad for a thief, but this was just plain lousy luck.

San Francisco police arrested a man this week who, riding a bicycle, approached a woman carrying an iPhone and ripped it out of her hands. The lesson here is, if youre stealing phones, computers or any other type of electronics anywhere near Silicon Valley, it could be perilous.

It turns out that the iPhone he stole was involved in a real-time GPS tracking demo. It only took 10 minutes to catch the thief, who only got a half-mile with the device.  Imagine his surprise.

The phones owner, who is the CEO of a Silicon Valley tech company called Covia Labs, told the San Francisco Chronicle it was like a bank robber who arrives during the security test.”

What makes this fall under the dumb criminal” category is the fact the real-time GPS was on display right there on the screen. Understandably, the thief was trying to pedal away as fast as he could, but if he had bothered to look at the phone, he wouldve seen a map of San Francisco and his exact location pinpointed.

The owner thought it might be cool to use some other features being tested, like the remotely operated microphone and camera, but he didnt want to tip off the thief. Mightve been fun, though.

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