Melbourne Police Use Apple's Find My App to Track Thieves During Fatal Car Chase

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Apple's Find My app was used by police to track two wanted men during a car chase in Melbourne, Australia last month, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

According to the report, the two men were being tracked from the air by helicopter after an iPad was stolen in an earlier home invasion. Driver Vaatoa Chang, 29, and passenger Jonas Montealegre, 36, carried the ‌iPad‌ with them as they switched stolen cars in an attempt to evade capture.

In the initial phase of the chase, the two fugitives were being tracked by following a stolen car, but when the police helicopter was called in, the two men switched cars, and that's when officers resorted to tracking them via ‌iPad‌.

Initially, it was the victim of the theft that used the ‌Find My‌ app to ping his ‌iPad‌ and follow his stolen Mitsubishi Triton, but police eventually called him off and continued tracking the ‌iPad‌ themselves using the same method.

Police tracked the fugitives for two hours across Melbournes's suburbs using the ‌Find My‌ app, before the two men were killed in a 100km/h collision with a freight truck after running a red light.

Apple's ‌Find My‌ app is typically used for locating your Apple devices when you've misplaced them around the home or office, but the Sydney Morning Herald report is a striking example of how the app can be used by police in real time to trace suspects in cases of theft. The full story can be read here.

Top Rated Comments

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8 months ago
Did the guy get his ipad back tho?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 months ago


So failure to stop now carries the death penalty without trial?

Do I have to reply to all of you that repeat the same stupid thing?

at least 1 home invasion
2 or 3 stolen cars
at least 2 additional attempted carjackings
dangerous high-speed driving

At the time of the fatal crash, the police were not in active pursuit: "The vehicle kept going and started to engage in serious erratic and high-risk driving so we sought to formulate a plan to safely intercept the vehicle. At that stage we weren't actively pursuing, we were still monitoring from the air wing."

The deceased and they alone chose how it would end.


Maybe you are unaware that Australia doesn’t have a “kill first ask questions later” policy.

Who killed them wise guy?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 months ago
Zero sympathy for the scum criminals. Hope the iPad survived.

I think criminals 100% must be chased, but to minimise danger to public - police must be authorised to use immediate lethal force.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 months ago


So failure to stop now carries the death penalty without trial?

As soon as someone starts to run stop signs and red lights - you're witnessing attempted murder in real time. The second the chase starts to endanger lives of innocent public - imo, immediate lethal force must be applied.

For example - we've seen may times when the fleeing car is already crashed into someone, but the suspect tries to leave again. At that point - overwhelming lethal force is exactly I want from law enforcement, because it is 100% clear that the criminal will endanger more people if the chase continues.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 months ago
> “the two men were killed in a 100km/h collision with a freight truck after running a red light.”

This is a good argument for restraint in Police pursuits, especially when you have the ability to track them and catch up with them later.

Sure, you may not have much sympathy for these two, but they could just have easily hit and killed someone totally innocent.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 months ago


I mean, iPads are cool and all, but authorization to end someone’s existence over a stolen car and an iPad is asinine.

maybe you are unaware of their crime spree that evening
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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