Could these two lovely people really be criminals?
I FULLY admit that I am a technophobe. Anything electronic baffles me and if it wasn't for the fact that I have two daughters who grew up in the electronic age then I would probably still be writing this column using a pen and paper and sending it in via the post. So imagine my surprise when earlier this week I was asked by our control room to look into an allegation of theft.
The victim had been into town on a night out and having drunk too much alcohol had been approached by three men.
He said they then stole his wallet and iPhone.
But using an application the victim had downloaded onto his phone he was able to inform our control room that his telephone was "tracking" to an address on my beat.
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I was therefore asked to visit the address and make some enquiries into if and how the telephone had got to this location.
I returned to the station to obtain the full facts of the initial theft and contacted the victim. This was important as I was going to an address where there was suspected stolen property and potentially any offenders who may have been involved could also be housed.
On arrival I was surprised at how respectable the property appeared and even more surprised when a pleasant young Asian woman answered the door, I explained the situation and she woke her husband, who had been working the previous evening. I also explained to him the reason for my visit. They both looked suitably baffled and so was I.
Could these two lovely people really be vicious criminals who roam the city centre looking for vulnerable drunken young men?
I thought not and after a few minutes began to look at the bigger picture and enquired what the husband did for a living. "I'm a taxi driver" he told me.
Then a sudden realisation dawned on me. I asked if we could look inside his taxi which was parked outside.
On doing so and within a few minutes all the victims' property was located under the front passenger side seat and the mystery was solved.
I thanked the couple for their assistance and returned the property to a very grateful but sheepish victim who had been so drunk he couldn't even remember taking a taxi home.
I returned to the station feeling a sense of achievement in a job well done. However it would never have been possible if the "victim" had not downloaded the tracking application onto his telephone in the first place.
So I urge anyone with a mobile telephone where an application is available to do so. It could save you a lot of money in the long term and there is a good chance you will get your telephone back.
But if it has been stolen we may get to catch a thief. Now, ain't technology grand?