A woman unwittingly took this photograph of herself unlocking a stolen iPhone, according to Sussex Police. (See also: How to trace a stolen MacBook: use Find My Mac to find stolen MacBook.)

The iPhone was reportedly stolen from the Coalition Nightclub in Brighton, East Sussex in early December.

But unknown to the woman handling it, the owner had installed an app called iGotYa, which automatically takes a photograph of anybody trying to unlock the phone, and sends the photograph of the culprit, along with map location data back to the original owner.

The app is activated whenever a peson attempts to enter the unlock passcode and gets it wrong.


According to The Telegraph newspaper, the owner passed on the photograph and information to the police. PC Gavin Crute, from Sussex Police said: "We don’t know that the woman is the person who stole the camera, but she obviously has had some connection with it in the meantime and I’d like to speak to her about it.” More information can be found on the Sussex Police website.

iGotYa was instrumental in the recovery of a stolen iPhone in New York last year, so hopefully the same will be true this time.

Unfortunately the iGotYa app requires a jailbroken iPhone, and is only available from the Cydia store. More information can be found at the iGotYa website. Apple's Find My iPhone software, included with iOS, shares location information with a lost iPhone, but does not take photographs of anybody attempting to use the phone.

See also: iOS Utility reviews

There is an App Store app called Device Locator that tracks lost iOS devices in more detail, and also sends a push message to the phone, which if responded to takes a photograph and passes it on to the original owner.

There's a video here demonstrating how iGotYa works.