|(L)Cpl Paul PepitoneIII, (R) Lt. William Alexander located missing iPhone|
One Tweet, one post and one missing iPhone lead to tremendous collaboration between journalism and law enforcement in Prince George's County this afternoon.
David Pogue, a New York Times technology columnist and CBS Correspondent, (@Pogue on Twitter), lost his phone Monday on an Amtrak train. Pogue, gadget guru that he is,
turned to a number of resources to include the Apple app, Find My iPhone, Gizmodo.com and Twitter. At 3pm today, a tweet requesting help came to @PGPDJulie,
the PGPD's Media Relations Director. Pogue had written, in his public quest for his iPhone, that his phone was pinging in Seat Pleasant, Maryland, far from
his home. Could the department help?
Gizmodo.com, some of Pogue's 1.4 million Twitter followers and an alert off-duty Prince George's County officer who saw the story online
joined forces. Two other District III officers, armed with the iPhone's pinging location, headed to Seat Pleasant. Less than 90 minutes after the tweet
advised the PGPD the phone was missing, officers found it in a yard in the 700 block of Carrington Place in Seat Pleasant.
No one is under arrest. It's not even clear a crime was committed. It's not unusual for a citizen to call the department and say they've lost their phone and
ask police to find it based on the pings. What's pretty rare is to actually get the phone back. Rarer still, to have the owner be a technology columnist
who used technology to help find it.
Lt. Bill Alexander, the officer who was working secondary employment and saw the gizmodo.com article, overnighted the iPhone back to the elated owner this
evening. He's pictured here in the uniform, along with Cpl. Paul Pepitone of District III who helped. Sgt. Manny Rivera, not pictured, also pitched in.
"I think this story triggered such fascination online because, with Twitter and Gizmodo joining the cause, it smelled like a 'technology beats the bad guy' story. But in the end, it was good old-fashioned police work that covered that last mile to recovering the phone. My hat is off to PGPD!" said David Pogue.