Police in Pittsburgh, Penn. credit the "Find My IPhone" feature offered with Apple's MobileMe service for solving a recent burglary. The service is available (along with the rest of MobileMe) for $99/year for iPhone users.  (Source: Apple)
Apple's feature helps more users locate lost property

When the "Find My iPhone" security feature was announced as part of the iPhone OS v3.0, some security analysts complained that it would likely do little good.  After all, all crooks would need to do to disable it was to remove the SIM card from stolen phones or turn the phone off. It seemed likely that most wouldn't foolish enough to leave it on, transmitting its location to Apple.  

Well it turns out that many are.  Not long after the phone's release several users reported retrieving lost phones in humorous confrontations.  Now police in a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA have credited the feature with solving the case of a recent burglary.

Over the weekend three suspects reportedly robbed a home in the Shadyside suburb of Pittsburgh.  Police in  North Versailles (another suburb) were tipped off by the victim to search a specific location, which the victim's "Find My iPhone" service was pointing to.  The police showed up and nabbed three suspects, along with the stolen iPhone, a stolen pellet gun, and other stolen property. 

The Find My iPhone service does not come for free with the hot smartphone.  Rather, it comes as part of the $99/year MobileMe package from Apple.  The service includes Find My iPhone, email/calendar sync, photo gallery space, and iDisk online backup.  Most of these other services only replicate free functionality from Google, Flickr and others, but the locater service is apparently proving its worth, at least.

Losing your phone is always a painful experience, but it appears that Apple's solution may actually be successful in significantly raising your chances of getting it back.

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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