iPhone Feature Finds Fort Myers Woman's Stolen Phone 150 Miles Away, in North Miami Beach

Ellen Duke was able to see that her phone was at a house in North Miami Beach

By Christina Hernandez
|  Tuesday, Sep 11, 2012  |  Updated 10:34 AM EDT
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If someone took your phone, you were stuck buying a new one … until

If someone took your phone, you were stuck buying a new one … until "Find my iPhone." It's a feature and an app that tracks your Apple device if it goes missing. It’s something Ellen Duke from Fort Myers found very useful after her phone went missing last weekend.

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If someone took your phone, you were stuck buying a new one … until "Find my iPhone." It's a feature and an app that tracks your Apple device if it goes missing.

It’s something Ellen Duke from Fort Myers found very useful after her phone went missing last weekend.

"I could see the exact house. It was a satellite image,” Duke said. ”The whole time I was sending messages telling them the phone has been stolen or the phone is missing."

Duke saw an icon of her phone at a house in North Miami Beach. She did this by logging on to her iPad, signing in with her Apple ID and password, and in seconds she found her phone 150 miles away and started texting.

"I threatened them to call the police. I offered a reward, but no one responded," she said.

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Duke didn't want to drive two hours across Alligator Alley to get her phone back, and police say that's a good idea. You shouldn't knock on a stranger's door in an unfamiliar neighborhood.

But one officer, who wants to remain anonymous, went to the house, talked to the owner, and got the 29-year-old nurses phone back. North Miami Beach Police say this outcome is very rare.

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The officer even snapped a picture of Duke’s iPhone to show her it was in police custody. Ready to cancel service, Duke was relieved to have her phone full of pictures and personal information back.

"I filed the report just to do everything I could, but I never expected to get it back,” Duke said. “So when I got a phone call was blown away and very grateful that he even attempted it."

Monday, on his day off, the officer went to UPS to send Duke her phone back. He was going to do it on his dime, but after the person at UPS heard the story, they overnighted the package free of charge.

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