A WOMAN who had her iPhone stolen during a Disney cruise holiday was able to identify the alleged thief after he inadvertently sent her photos he had taken on it.
Unbeknown to the thief, pictures he began taking on the phone were automatically uploaded to the owner’s iCloud account, which allows data to be stored remotely.
The phone’s owner, Katy McCaffrey then set about unmasking him by posting a string of the images on Facebook in an album titled Stolen iPhone Adventures.
The images showed the suspect, who is a worker on the liner Disney Wonder, enjoying an ocean sunset, going to parties and drinking with other crew members.
American Miss McCaffrey, who took the cruise trip in April, identified the suspect after reading the name on a tag on his uniform in one of the images.
She added captions to some of photos such as: “here’s a beautiful sunset [he] had time to capture, all on my stolen iPhone”.
The alleged thief has now been placed on “administrative leave” and the phone will be returned to Miss McCaffrey as soon as the ship returns to port, Disney Cruises said.
A spokesman said: “We take these matters very seriously. We have a zero tolerance policy for this type of behaviour.
“We recovered the phone and we’ve been in touch with the guest.”
In later pictures, the suspect also took snapshots of his pregnant girlfriend, who is understood to be another Disney Cruise employee.
Miss McCaffrey captioned one image saying: “Uh, oh. [His] girlfriend does not look happy with him. I understand the feeling.”
The phone’s iCloud feature allows users to store data such as photos or music files on a remote computer server to free up space and so they can be downloaded to other gadgets.
The feature can be turned off with a simple on/off switch in the phone’s settings but as this was not disabled, the images captured after the alleged theft were automatically uploaded to iCloud.
Miss McCaffrey could also have used the service to trace the phone using its Find My iPhone feature, which allows the user to see their phone’s location on a map using GPS technology.
A British court heard yesterday how a mugger who snatched an iPhone from a commuter was caught when police used the feature to track him down.
Munya Chimutengwende, 21, snatched the Apple smartphone from the hands of David Landy as he checked his messages outside a Tube station.
When Mr Landy reported the theft to police an officer was able to use the Find My iPhon feature to trace the culprit.
It placed Chimutengwende at a mobile phone store in Wood Green, north London, where he had just sold the handset for £270.
He was arrested shortly afterwards in a nearby branch of McDonald's and jailed for 18 months at Snaresbrook Crown Court.