Woman uses Google to track stolen phone - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Woman uses Google to track stolen phone

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A woman is reunited wither her cellphone after it was stolen from a gas station.

Earlier this week, police responded to New Start Mart near Ansborough Avenue and Black Hawk Road in Waterloo to review surveillance video of the phone being taken.

It could happen to any of us.

We set our phone down for a split second, forget about it, and then walk away, leaving it for anyone to grab.

Authorities say the chances of ever seeing it again are slim to none, but thanks to the help of Waterloo Police and some quick thinking, this Waterloo woman defies the odds.

"I just set the phone down, counted the change, and walked out," Nicole Pullen said.

Pullen said she left her phone at a gas station in Waterloo, and she realized it was missing hours later and started to panic.

"Not to mention, I use Google, and I have a lot of stuff stored on my phone. So, it's a security issue," Pullen said.

After calling her cell phone 14 times and trying to track its location through Google Timeline, she notified police to report its latest location, who were able to investigate and report good news.

"I was elated. Because it was a long shot," Pullen said.

Nicole says after Waterloo Police Officer Matt Wertz reviewed surveillance video of a man taking her cellphone from the gas station, and leaving in his car, they were able to track his license plate number to a residence here on Janney Avenue, nearly six blocks from the station.

Since the man admitted to taking the phone and gave it back, Nicole says she's not pressing charges.

"His story didn't quite match the camera, but he gave it back, and that's all I cared about," Pullen said.

Nicole said she didn't have a password on her phone but does now.

She doesn't believe the man who took it, compromised any of her information, but she's waiting to see her next phone bill to know for sure.

Nicole said she used an application to try to track her phone, but she was ultimately able to find it by puttering her Gmail address into Google Timeline.


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