App helps track down stolen iPad

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page -

A STOLEN iPad­was traced to a house in Run­corn us­ing a high­tech app that al­lows its owner to track its lo­ca­tion.

On Tues­day at War­ring­ton Crown Court, 20-year-old Owen Pre­ston was handed a sus­pended pri­son sen­tence for han­dling stolen goods in re­la­tion to the iPad Mini and for pos­ses­sion with in­tent to sup­ply cannabis.

Pre­ston told po­lice he had bought the lap­top off ‘some smack­head’.

Jo Maxwell, prose­cut­ing, told the court that of­fi­cers found the iPad in his bed­room at his fam­ily home on Fal­low­field in Halton Brook on March 21 this year, three days af­ter its theft from a car.

Its owner Matthew Sin­nott used the Find My iPhone app to switch on the iPad cam­era to see who might be us­ing the item but found the lens had been cov­ered.

It also switched on a mes­sage that flashed on the screen and urged who­ever had it to call a num­ber so they could re­turn the item to its owner. Pre­ston told po­lice that he had seen the mes­sage the night be­fore his ar­rest and in­tended to call it.

While at the prop­erty, po­lice also found a bot­tle of cannabis in liq­uid THC form known as ‘shat­ter’ and also cannabis bush plus mobile phones, snap bags, ‘tick list’ dealer lists and scales.

The court heard the quan­tity of the Class B drug was low, and worth about £50. Pre­ston had said he smoked about 15 joints a day.

The de­fen­dant had no pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions.

Paul Abrahams, de­fend­ing, asked the court to con­sider his client’s youth, his pre­vi­ous good char­ac­ter and will­ing­ness to work. He said Pre­ston ‘will look back and be thank­ful that his jour­ney into drug deal­ing has been stopped at the very ear­li­est stages’. Recorder An­thony O’Dono­hoe, pre­sid­ing, said Pre­ston would have known that the iPad was stolen given the cir­cum­stances of how he ob­tained it. He handed Pre­ston a two-month cur­few from 10pm-6am and 180 hours of un­paid work. Pre­ston was sen­tenced to two months in a young of­fend­ers in­sti­tu­tion for han­dling stolen goods, and eight months for deal­ing cannabis, with the terms sus­pended for 18 months. Sen­tenc­ing him, Recorder O’Dono­hoe warned that hav­ing a crim­i­nal record could af­fect his em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties. He said: “These mat­ters have cost you your good record. I know you’re not work shy – you have harmed your­self in that way.”

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