Woman tracks down phone thief using app

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A woman whose phone was stolen inside a Pret a Manger near Union Square on Friday was able to get it back by tracking it through an app.

The victim told police that she was inside the café at 821 Broadway when a man who was later arrested, 44-year-old Bension Mamedov, came in and put his bag on top of her phone and phone case, which contained her driver’s license, MetroCard and a credit card and when he left, her phone was gone.

She told police that she used the Find My iPhone application to track her device and the app located her phone at 109 East 16th Street, which houses the offices of the Human Resources Administration. She flagged down two police officers who were at Union Square East and East 16th Street and went inside the building, where she spotted Mamedov.

The officers were able to ping her cell phone so it made a noise, which appeared to be coming from Mamedov as he was exiting an elevator at the HRA, which offers social services and public assistance programs.

The victim identified him as the same person she had seen in the Pret a Manger and when he was searched, police found that he had the victim’s cell phone in his hoodie pocket, as well as her credit card, driver’s license and MetroCard in his pants pocket.

Mamedov was arrested for the alleged theft at 10:21 a.m. and charged with grand larceny.

An attorney for Mamedov did not respond to a request for comment before T&V’s press time.

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