Uncategorized — 28 February 2014 — by Rowland A. Parks
Stolen iPhone 5’s “Find My iPhone” app uses Google Maps to pinpoint thief

Ashton Grant was sentenced to 10 years for robbery of $2,000 bag and $2,500 iPhone 5

A Belize City man who robbed a woman at knifepoint and made off with her expensive bag which contained her iPhone 5 was convicted of robbery and sentenced to 10 years in prison after Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith found him guilty.

As Ashton Grant, 23, was being led out of the courtroom to the court’s holding cell, he was visibly upset and yelled out: “10 years?”

Grant’s trouble began almost immediately after he held up Tanya McNab in the vicinity of George Street on December 30, 2012.

Although she struggled with him at first, eventually he got the upper hand and ended up riding away with her $2000 bag, which contained her $2,500 iPhone 5, credit card, passport and other identification documents.

But what Grant did not know was that the iPhone has a software called “Find My iPhone,” that could be activated through Apple Inc’s iCloud, where it is stored and can be activated by the owner of the phone.

Immediately after she was robbed, McNab logged into iCloud and activated the software, which used Google Maps to track the location of the phone.

The software led police to the exact location of the phone, which was found in Grant’s possession on Gentle Avenue, in the Kings Park area.

Tanya McNab testified that, “at 11:00 a.m. that day, I had arrived home, when I pulled up to the garage to park, a slim-built guy on a bicycle approached me with a knife in his hand. He did not say anything, only pointed the knife at me and began to pull on my left arm where I had my bag.”

Grant’s trial took about two hours before it was completed. But as the trial neared the end, he suddenly had a change of heart and wanted to change his not guilty plea to a guilty plea. But Chief Magistrate Smith told him it was too late in the proceeding to do so.

So after the trial concluded, Grant admitted to committing the offense. He told the Chief Magistrate, “I was frustrated, that’s why I did it.”

In his mitigation plea, Grant begged the court for mercy, saying that he is a father of a little girl, in reference to whom he said, “No one can care for her the way I do.”

Before she sentenced him, Smith told him that she took into consideration the fact that he is a young father, but that he should have taken into consideration his daughter when he decided to rob McNab.

Smith told him that she would not impose the maximum sentence of 20 years to which she could sentence him under the law, because he is a repeat offender.

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