Grand Central iPhone thief tracked to Gatton with phone app
The find my phone app has aided in the arrest of a Gatton thief who stole a mobile phone left behind in the toilets at Grand Central in Toowoomba.
Emma Lee Rhodes, 32, moved from Brisbane to the Lockyer Valley to “escape” the drug scene, but got herself tangled in a theft incident.
Rhodes appeared in the Gatton Magistrates Court on Monday, March 1, where her defence lawyer James Ryan said his client thought the phone was hers.
But police prosecutor sergeant Al Windsor said when police tracked down Rhodes, the phone was “significantly different” to her own.
Sergeant Windsor told the court that the victim tried calling her phone when she noticed it missing on January 24, but it was found to be turned off.
At 11am, the next day, she initiated the find my phone app, which displayed a message on the screen asking to call the victim on an alternate number.
But at 11.25am, the victim received an alert and was able to track the phone to a Gatton address.
Sergeant Windsor said police were able to track the phone, which led them to a front deck at a Gatton property where Rhodes was congregated among other people.
“The defendant said she had the phone and produced it from her handbag,” Sergeant Windsor said.
Photos on the phone matched the victim’s description and Rhodes told police she thought it was hers, sergeant Windsor said.
“She further said her phone didn’t have any credit – she hadn’t made any attempts to contact the victim or the police.”
Mr Ryan said his client, a farm hand and mother-of-two, was homeless from the age of 12, and had become involved with drugs from a young age.
“She did serve some time last year,” Mr Ryan said.
“Since being released from custody, she has relocated to the Lockyer Valley. She’s kept away from the drug scene and drug associates in Brisbane,” he said.
Mr Ryan didn’t defend Rhode’s theft actions.
Rhodes pleaded guilty to one charge of theft.
Magistrate Howard Osborne had no comments on the matter.
He convicted and fined Rhodes $500.