Apps ensure crime doesn’t pay

The Find My iPhone app proves helpful for many people who misplace their devices. Emilee Renwick/The Buzz.
The Find My iPhone app proves helpful for many people who misplace their devices. Emilee Renwick/The Buzz.

By Emilee Renwick

For most of us our phones are our lives. Pictures, videos, contacts. It’s all in one little place until you forget it somewhere. Suddenly, sheer panic races through your body, sweat starts to accumulate on your forehead, and your mind goes blank as to where it could be.

Luckily, our society is run by technology, and a quick trip to a computer can help find it. Whether it’s an iPhone or Android any smart phone can be tracked. This was the case for Alan Sivell, news director in the communication department, when he placed his phone down while giving a test in class one day and forgot it when he left the room. Sivell came back just hours later and it was gone.

“My sister asked me if I had the Find My Phone app,” Sivell said. “I went on the website and could communicate with my phone. I figured someone would return it to security the next day, but nothing turned up.”

A few days later he continued to get emails about the coordinates of his phone when it was turned on. Every time it was turned on a little green dot showed up on a GPS map he could locate it to. It was on campus. It was in North Park Mall. Then it was back on campus. It was clear whoever took it was in no rush to give it back. Eventually, he was able to track it down on campus and it was returned to him. Sivell says even though this seems a little like “Big Brother” tracking our every move, the technology does come in handy.

“It’s a personal choice to turn the tracking on,” Sivell said. “Over the 25 plus years I’ve been teaching here, I’ve left my classrooms hastily, leaving behind books, electronics, coats, umbrellas. Every other time, I’ve come back a class period or two later and whatever I had left was still there. It’s my fault for forgetting, but I’ve never worried about people taking things that didn’t belong to them at SAU.”

Julie Kettmann, psychology assistant professor, specializes in psychology and treatment of both juvenile offenders and crime victims. Kettmann says there are many reasons why people steal.

“We try to look at it from the perspective of multiple circumstances coming together to create an opportunity for stealing to occur,” Kettmann said. “Sometimes individuals have been socialized in environments where stealing is seen as an acceptable way to meet your needs, whether those be financial needs or emotional needs.”

The app for iPhones is called Find My iPhone and can be accessed on a computer or through the app. It will lock the phone, put a number to call if found and send emails to a personal account with locations and maps on where to find it. This app comes preinstalled in the more recent iPhones.

For those with Androids, the app Where’s My Droid has the same features as the IOS app, and includes a notification if the storage card or phone number is changed and won’t drain the battery while in use. To download the app, go to the Google play market.

With more recent criminal incidents, having a way to track the devices so dear to us is another way to stay aware of personal belongings.


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