Police & Fire

South Orange Police Say Tracking Apps Can Help Recover Stolen Items

February 20, 2013 at 12:03 PM

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – South Orange police have tips on how residents can protect and find their Apple and Android devices if they are stolen or misplaced.

“Cell phone and iPads are one of the hottest items stolen simply because there are so many of them, and they are easily accessible,” said South Orange Police Sgt. Adrian Acevedo, who is part of the county’s Cyber-Crimes Task Force.

According to Acevedo, the first thing new Apple iPhone or Android phone owners should do is to turn on or download the application that finds the device if stolen.

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For the iPhone, iPad or Mac, it is the application called “Find My iPhone” or “Find My iPad.” For an Apple device, two things are needed: an Apple ID and an iCloud account. If the Apple device is lost, it can be traced by going to iCloud.com and using an Apple account to log in.

“At the very least,” Acevedo said, “the application can shut down your device or delete what is on your device.”

If you have an Android device, the application to track it is called “Where’s My Droid.” From any phone, Android users are able to send a text message to the stolen phone. Then, the phone sends out a text message to tell the person the GPS location, a Google maps link with the exact location of the phone and a street address. If the phone is moving, the app will determine how fast the phone is traveling.

Acevedo said that even though the applications aren’t fool-proof, every little bit does help. He also recommended that you “lock” or “password protect” phones and other devices.

If the device isn’t connected to wi-fi automatically, such as an iPod Touch, then the iPod won’t register in the iCloud and it will be harder to track and harder to delete information from the device.

The reporter is participating in a hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts.

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