Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/02/29/inaccurate_iphone_tracking_software_leads_cops_to_wrong_house/

GPS glitch leads perp-pursuing cops to wrong house

Stolen iPhone elsewhere

By Caleb Cox

Posted in Phones, 29th February 2012 13:07 GMT

A man has been left with a £500 bill for a new front door after "tracking software" used to trace a stolen iPhone led Police to the wrong house.

The missing iPhone was located using iOS' Find My iPhone feature, which can be used to find a device using its GPS fix. The handset is queried by a server and reports back its co-ordinates.

The data suggested the handset had made its way to a house in Sherwood, Nottingham. However, when cops broke in, there was no trace of the robber or the handset, The Telegraph reports.

And Landlord Robert Kerr, whose owns the house that was raided, was left fuming after police refused to pay compensation for the cock-up, claiming the tracking software gave them a reasonable belief the perpetrator was hiding inside the property.

"I understand why they broke in," said Kerr, "but what I don't understand or accept is the refusal to pay for the damage done - especially since nothing was found in the house."

In response, a Notts Police spokesman told the paper: "Our officers took the decision to search the property in Rufford Road in good faith with the intention of quickly locating an offender and recovering stolen items from a burglary reported in Woodthorpe on the afternoon of 6 December.

"However, that decision was not simply made on the basis of iPhone tracker information but was taken after speaking to local residents who informed officers that they believed someone had been at the usually unoccupied property in Rufford Road that evening."

Kerr has taken his complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). ®