Schoolboy uses GPS technology to track down mother's £230 phone after it was stolen in nightclub

A schoolboy used GPS technology to track down his mother’s expensive new mobile phone to the thief's house after it was stolen in a nightclub.

Gemma Richardson, 32, was devastated when her new £230 smartphone disappeared after she placed it on a bar while she bought a drink at 1.30am.

She returned home without the HTC Wildfire phone and assumed it was gone for ever when nobody handed it in to staff at The Grand nightclub in Felixstowe, Suffolk.

High tech: Gemma Richardson's 12-year-old son Kristen tracked down her stolen mobile phone using GPS technology

High tech: Gemma Richardson's 12-year-old son Kristen tracked down her stolen mobile phone using GPS technology

Mother-of-three Mrs Richardson told her son Kristen, 12, what had happened when she woke up on Sunday morning.

But he was able to come to the rescue because he had earlier downloaded a Lookout Mobile Security app on her android phone, enabling him to find where it was.

Kristen used his mother’s laptop to log on to her free Lookout account that he had set up and was able to display a map showing the location of the phone.

He used the phone’s built-in sat-nav technology to locate it within four metres of a detached house in a village about ten miles away near Woodbridge, Suffolk.

Kristen then looked up the address on Google Street View and was able to find a picture of the house.

Mrs Richardson, an area manager for beauty products firm Body Shop at Home, called the police to pass on the information.

Android: An HTC Wildfire smartphone

Android: An HTC Wildfire smartphone

Officers later visited the house and found a 21-year-old man who admitted having taken the phone when he was in the nightclub.

He handed the phone to the officers who then went back to Felixstowe and returned it to a delighted Mrs Richardson.

She decided that she did not want to press charges against the thief after hearing that he had never been in trouble with the police before.

Instead she agreed to settle the matter by accepting a letter of apology from him.
Mrs Richardson said: 'I had only bought my new phone two weeks earlier and my son said he was a bit worried about me losing it.

'He told me that he was downloading some sort of technology so he could keep track of it - but I didn’t really take any notice of what he was saying.

'I just put my phone on the bar when I was buying a drink in the nightclub and then when I looked down it had gone.

'I felt really stupid and thought I would never see it again.

'When I told Kristen in the morning, he said, "Don’t worry mum, I’m going to track it down for you".

'A couple of seconds later he announced it was in this house in a village.

'He was able to send out a message to make the phone scream which must have shocked the guy who had taken it.

'He also discovered that this chap had deleted 173 of my contacts from the phone and added the numbers of a couple of his mates.

Service: The Lookout app that Kristen used to locate his mother's stolen phone

Service: The Lookout app that Kristen used to locate his mother's stolen phone

'I called the police and an officer came round.

'He was just amazed when Kristen told him how he had tracked down the phone and he even had its latitude and longitude position.

'The police went to see this guy and at first asked him if he had been in the nightclub the night before.

'He admitted he had and he was asked if he had picked up a phone - but he denied it.

'The officer then told him about the technology which had tracked the phone down to his address.

'He then came clean and produced the phone, saying he had been intending to take it back.

'I think this chap was gobsmacked that he had been found with the phone.

'It certainly shows how brilliant the technology is.

'I decided not to press charges after hearing he had never been in trouble before. All I wanted was my phone back.

'He did offer to apologise to me in person, but I said it would be enough to get a letter from him.

'The police were just mesmerised when Kristen showed them how the system worked. It is a brilliant tool.

'When I got the phone back, Kristen just pressed a button and it instantly restored all my contacts and my pictures.'

A Suffolk Police spokesman said: 'The technology was a very effective way of leading officers to the house where the phone was.

'Officers recovered the phone and we decided to deal with the matter by way of a "community resolution" where both parties agreed to a suitable course of action.

'In this case it will involve the man who had the phone writing a letter of apology to the owner.'