Mablethorpe ‘phone thief’ identified by police when iPhone synced pictures to owner’s laptop

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The finder of a phone in Mablethorpe who failed to hand it in was foiled by police when pictures he took synced to the owner’s laptop.

In May, a Doncaster holiday-maker lost her iPhone whilst staying at a caravan park in Mablethorpe.

The phone was found by another guest at the park and, instead of handing it in to reception, he kept the phone and proceded to use it to take photographs of himself and his family at their caravan.

What the offender wasn’t aware of, however, was that the photographs were syncing via iCloud to the laptop of the woman who the phone belonged to and Mablethorpe Community Patrol officer, PC Nigel Brailsford, was quickly on his trail.

PC Brailsford was able to use the photographs to identify the caravan on the park, allowing him to obtain information about who had been staying there.

A man from Hull was identified as the culprit and cross-border restorative justice was used to settle the matter.

The man received a visit at his home by colleagues from Humberside Police and the phone was swiftly posted back to its owner with an apology.

PC Brailsford said: “If you find something of value, that clearly belongs to somebody else, you may be committing an offence by keeping it.

“This case was particularly suitable for a restorative justice resolution as the finder was clearly not a criminal mastermind and more a foolish person who thought it was his lucky day.

“The victim was delighted to get her phone back and the incident highlights the importance of mobile phone security.”