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Tracking apps do help - a tale of a phone thief, his coworker and selfies

Stolen phones are always bad news, but every now and then we are also reminded that we can do so much to keep our phones protected and even recover them!

Published onOctober 12, 2015


There’s so much people would do for a phone, but this Ipswich, England thief was especially eager to take his coworker’s handset. Albin Nkurunziza was upset about not receiving an unspecified mobile device on the mail, after having purchased it.

Feeling cheated and ripped off, he went on to take a similar phone from his co-worker on August 7th. He retrieved it from an unlocked property box and deleted the owner’s information. After using the gadget as his own for some time, and taking some selfies that would later identify him as the thief, Nkurunziza received a call from the original owner of the smartphone.

stolen phone

Albin answered and told her he had taken it from “the thief”. This heroic story turned out to be bogus, though, as he pleaded guilty in court and the phone is now where it belongs.

We could take this as a story to laugh at and marvel over how stupid some thieves can be. It’s truly amazing how far some people can go, but even more surprising is realizing how secure our smartphones are getting. The police mentioned the owner of this handset tracked the phone with third-party app.

stolen forgotten phone

It is stories like this one that reminds us that we need to get on top of those security services. Android Device Manager is still my favorite, but there are plenty of awesome alternatives out there. In fact, one of our favorite solutions for recognizing a thief is creating a Tasker Profile for taking a picture of the user whenever the screen is turned on. Alternatively, you can take a look at our list of 9 Android apps to help you locate a lost phone.


It’s always good to hear these victory stories. Do you guys have any to tell? Have you ever managed to recover a smartphone by tracking it and identifying the thief (or whoever found it)? I personally haven’t, even though I have definitely lost phones. I suppose I should be more proactive about phone security!

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