Mumbai

How Google helped this Mumbai woman find her stolen smartphone

09 Aug 2018 | By Pallabi Chatterjee

With quick thinking and some help from Google, a Mumbai woman managed to nab the man who had stolen her phone.

The 19-year-old used another handset to log in to her Google account and track her phone's location and check his activities on her phone.

When she understood he was planning to catch a train, she informed the Railway Protection Force, who arrested him.

In context: Mumbai teen uses wits to recover stolen mobile

09 Aug 2018How Google helped this Mumbai woman find her stolen smartphone

How she trackedShe opened her Google account on another phone

Andheri-based preschool teacher Zeenat Banu Haq lost her Xiaomi 4A smartphone on Sunday.

However, she had no recollection of how it got lost. She could only remember that she was returning from somewhere and upon reaching Malad, she couldn't find her phone.

This didn't deter her whatsoever; quickly, she opened her Google account on another phone and went to the 'My activity' section.

Love Mumbai news?
Stay updated with the latest happenings.
'He downloaded an app for booking railway tickets'

Lead'He downloaded an app for booking railway tickets'

'My activities' allows one to monitor, view and manage one's logged activities.

In there, she turned on the location access of her stolen phone.

"I found that the thief had searched for songs from the Rajinikanth starrer 'Kaala'. He used the SHAREit app, updated WhatsApp messenger and accessed Facebook. Then, he downloaded an app for booking railway tickets," said Haq.

That was a lead.

DetailsThe thief booked a ticket from Dadar to Tiruvannamalai

On the app, the man booked a ticket from Dadar to Tiruvannamalai, a town in Tamil Nadu, which Haq got to know through Google Photos: he had taken a screenshot of the ticket.

A quick Google search revealed he was to board Puducherry Express, which left Dadar Terminus around 9.30PM.

She rushed to Dadar and informed RPF personnel while continuing to track her phone.

ActionRPF personnel waited for him on Dadar terminus bridge

For reaching the station, the man had to take a bridge. RPF personnel waited there, but he didn't arrive for long.

"When he finally arrived and took his seat, the RPF started questioning him," said Haq. The phone was found, but "he claimed that it had been mortgaged with him."

However, the RPF nabbed him after he and his partner gave contradictory answers

Haq's phone was excessively used, battery fully drained out

The 32-year-old man was identified as Selvaraj Shetty, whom the RPF handed over to Dadar GRP outpost. A case of theft was registered against him on Monday. Haq said she got back her phone with a completely drained battery, meaning the handset was excessively used.