Felixstowe: Kristen, 12, tracks down mum’s stolen phone using GPS

A YOUNGSTER with a passion for technology and “spy stuff” tracked down his mum’s stolen phone – and gave police the thief’s address.

After Kristen Richardson showed officers how he used GPS tracking to find the mobile, they visited the house he identified and a 21-year-old man admitted having taken the phone and handed it over.

Mum Gemma Richardson could not believe it when her 12-year-old son said he could find her phone. It was taken after she left it on a bar at a pub on Felixstowe seafront.

“I hadn’t had the phone long and I was devastated, especially as it has all my contacts on it for work – it’s my lifeline and I am on it morning, noon and night,” said Mrs Richardson, 32, a senior area manager for beauty products firm Body Shop at Home.

“A few days earlier, my brother had told Kristen about an application he could download to kill viruses. He looked into it and also found one which would track the phone if it was lost. He told me about it but I wasn’t really paying attention.

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“I lost it on Saturday night after going out for a meal with some friends and on Sunday morning went back to the pub but it hadn’t been handed in.

“I came home and Kristen asked what was the matter and I told him. He immediately said, ‘Don’t worry mum, I’ll get it back for you’.

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“I thought, bless him, but there’s no way he could do that, he’s a 12-year-old boy.

“He says, ‘Honestly, I will get it back’, and within a few minutes he is showing me an aerial photo on the internet on Google and saying. ‘That’s the house where your phone is’. I couldn’t believe it.

“I rang the police and said, this may sound a little crazy, but . . .”

Intrigued officers immediately attended and Kristen showed them how the GPS technology worked. They watched as the thief deleted 170 of Mrs Richardson’s contacts – which her son was able later to restore – and added some of his own.

When police visited the thief near Woodbridge, he initially denied stealing the �230 HTC Wildfire phone – but handed it over when told of the GPS tracking.

Mrs Richardson, who lives with her husband, Tom, a portworker, Kristen and his sisters, Kenzie, five, and Gracie, one, at Kirton, said Kristen just loves technology.

“Every birthday he wants spy stuff, spy gear. He is so clever with it all – we can be in the kitchen and have no idea that he’s set up cameras and is watching us in his bedroom! The technology he found was just wonderful and I am so happy to have my phone back,” she said.

She decided not to press charges as the man had not been in trouble before.

A police spokeswoman said officers were impressed with the effectiveness of the technology. The man would be writing a letter of apology.

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