How Google Maps helped a man trace his father’s stolen items | Trending - Hindustan Times

Google Maps saves the day for a man in Tamil Nadu, helps him trace father’s stolen items

Feb 06, 2024 12:56 PM IST

“That must be one hell of a day for you,” wrote an X user while reacting to a thread detailing how a man used Google Maps to trace his father’s phone and bag.

A man named Raj Bhagat P shared on X how he used Google Maps to locate a thief who stole his father’s smartphone and bag. Raj used the location-sharing feature on Google Maps to track down the thief and recover the stolen items.

Tamil Nadu: Engineer tracked down the thief (right) with the help of Google Maps. (X/@rajbhagatt)
Tamil Nadu: Engineer tracked down the thief (right) with the help of Google Maps. (X/@rajbhagatt)

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“Here is the story of how @googlemaps helped me recover items stolen in a moving train from my father,” wrote Raj while sharing a screenshot of Google Maps on X.

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According to the tweets, Raj’s father was travelling from Tamil Nadu’s Nagercoil to Trichy in sleeper class on the Nagercoil - Kacheguda Express. He boarded the train from Nagercoil junction at 1:43 am. “The train was relatively empty, and another person who boarded along with my dad stole my dad’s bag and mobile phone from him and deboarded the train in Tirunelveli Junction,” he added.

When his father discovered that his phone and bag had been stolen, he contacted his son through a friend’s phone at 3:51 am. “Luckily, among immediate family members, we have location sharing ‘on’, which meant I could track the location of the mobile. When I checked it, I realised that the mobile was moving along the track near Melapalayam in Tirunelveli, so I deduced that the thief was returning to Nagercoil on another train,” he explained further.

Raj then called his friend, and they both went to the police to seek help. The police went along with them to Nagercoil station and waited for the thief to arrive. Raj added, “The thief came to the station in Kanyakumari Express, which was heavily crowded, and the only indications I had was my dad’s phone and his black bag. In the crowd, we lost him but I still was able to track him. Based on his movements, I found that he exited through the main gate and took a local bus which connects Nagercoil railway station with Anna bus stand and Vadasery Christopher bus stand. So we started our chase on bike.”

Raj and his friend were a few steps behind the thief at Anna bus stand. He shared, “After 2-3 minutes, Google Maps gave me a location which was accurate to 2 metres! At that point, I was standing behind him, and I just checked what was written on the bag, and it was written CITU with its logo. My dad is a union activist. Me and my friend confronted the thief in the bus stand, and with the help of other people in the bus stand, we recovered my dad’s phone and bag.”

The thread, since being shared on February 4, has accumulated numerous likes and comments. Many even took to the comments section of the post and shared their thoughts.

Check out a few comments here:

“That must be one hell of a day for you,” expressed an individual.

Another added, “Looks like the thief didn’t even turn off GPS in the phone. You were lucky; if he had switched off the phone, Google Maps would’ve not been able to record the path.”

“Believe me. I lost my iPhone 5 in Mumbai at 10am. I registered my complaint at my local police station. The @MumbaiPolice successfully tracked the thief and recovered my iPhone within five hours. They found it in Thane, which is 26 km away. Proud of Mumbai Police. No need for GPS,” shared a third.

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    Arfa Javaid is a journalist working with the Hindustan Times' Delhi team. She covers trending topics, human interest stories, and viral content online.

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