An Apple Watch led the Civil Police to the arrest of a burglar who stole a car and assaulted the victim in the municipality of Santa Maria, 290 kilometers from the capital Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. authorities, the arrest took place last Saturday (27) - less than 24 hours after he committed the crime.

According to the Civil Police website, the suspect, accompanied by two other cronies, surrendered the victim to his residence. All wore apparently falsified uniforms from the Brazilian Army. The victim was tied up and beaten and had several of his assets stolen - including a BMW X4 and the Apple Watch that would lead authorities to the robber. The other two are still at large.


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Apple Watch, the smartwatch that led to the arrest of a burglar in southern Brazil
An Apple Watch led the Civil Police in Rio Grande do Sul to capture a thief. Apple monitors its devices via GPS through an app. Image: Anna Hoychuk / Shutterstock

What was unexpected for criminals was the fact that the smartwatch from Cupertino company be a model that had cellular connectivity. Apple usually offers two versions: one that only supports Wi-Fi connection and another that also brings internet via 4G. By accessing the device location app that Apple makes available to its users, it was possible to determine the location of the Apple Watch and, consequently, the burglar.

Upon arriving at the scene, the Civil Police confirmed that it was the house where the sister of one of the suspects lives. After approaching, the victim's stolen goods were found, as well as one of the Army's uniforms, used during the execution of the crime. Subsequently, the arrested individual was identified by the victim, whose name was left out of the file for protection purposes.

According to the Civil Police, the arrested individual has had previous passages for theft, homicide, drug trafficking, disobedience and threat. He was taken to the Santa Maria Penitentiary.

Apple against crime

Of course, this is not the first time that an Apple device has led to the capture of bandits. In addition to the Apple Watch, the iPhone and iPad also feature GPS device monitoring.

A prominent old case happened in 2014, when a yoga instructor saw, the morning after a “night out” at a bar, that her iPhone was gone. Using the app, she located her smartphone in a home about 45 miles from her home in Los Angeles, California. She went to the scene herself, confronted the thieves and, luckily, took the device back without suffering any kind of threat - her action was criticized by the local police.

Another situation occurred in 2020 - showing that this is not a seasonal situation - when the same resource led UK authorities to find the iPhone 8 belonging to the former British Prime Minister David Cameron's father-in-law. He was taking pictures of a house in Scunthorpe, England, when his smartphone was stolen. Authorities arrested the thief, who was tried and sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Source: PC-RS, The New York Times, iMore