A mobile app designed to help find lost iPads has helped track down and jail a criminal for a string of burglaries.
Ion-Liviu Radita, 36, stole an iPad during one of 11 break-ins committed during a three-week crime spree in Kent from 3 May, but unknown to him the owner of the Apple device had installed the Find My iPad app.
The app, which can also be downloaded for other Apple devices as Find My iPhone, Find My iPod, or Find My Mac, allows remote location-tracking of iOS devices and Mac computers by using either the iOS app on another device or icloud.com on a computer.
Using the app police were able to track the device down to one of several properties in Eynsford Road, Ilford, Essex where they found a red Nissan Primera outside one of the homes, which detectives were able to prove was used to travel to Kent at the exact time of the burglaries.
Detective Constable Bill Looker speaking after the sentencing said: "With the help of the Find My iPhone app, we were able to tie his location down to a small number of addresses and from there it was a case of using other tools available to us, such as Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras, to keep tabs and track the car we knew was being used to commit these burglaries.
"These cameras proved the car was in the area of those burglaries at that time and was seen to go back to Essex after they were committed."
A raid on Radita's home then uncovered a gems box with about 100 pieces of jewellery inside. Police said laptops and other electronic devices were also taken during the break-ins.
Radita, a Romanian, was convicted of conspiracy to commit burglary by a jury at Maidstone Crown Court this week and was jailed for seven years, Kent Police said.
Looker added: "Fighting this type of crime remains a high priority and we will use a range of tactics available to us to ensure that we continue to bring offenders to justice as we continue our campaign against burglary."
The app, created by Apple, can also make the device play a sound at maximum volume, even if it is muted; flag the device as lost or stolen allowing the user to lock it with a passcode and give anyone finding it the option of calling the owner in the case of an iPhone; and completely erase all content and settings on the device.