Louisville man tracking stolen phone with cloud-based technology - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville man tracking stolen phone with cloud-based technology

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LOUISVILE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville man says his phone was snatched from his hands on a city bus and that he can now see every photo the alleged thief takes thanks to cloud-based technology.

"He just grabbed the phone out of my hand and ran," Ben Gierhart told WDRB.

On February 21, Ben Gierhart says he was riding a TARC bus when a man stole his cell phone.

"I shouted maybe but I was just so shocked that I didn't really do anything and he was just gone," he explained.

With no time to react, Gierhart decided to file a police report.

"I got home and called the police and they sent a civilian police reporter and that's how I filed the report," he said.

But weeks have gone by and since then, Gierhart has kept a close eye on the target.

"All the photos that are taken on the phone are backed up onto my Google drive so week after week or day after day even, I've been getting these pictures, these selfies, group pictures and all kinds of random crazy things," said Gierhart.

So he can literally see the person using his phone.

He says the man has taken upwards of 100 pictures in the last two weeks.

But even so, Gierhart still hasn't been able to get his phone back so he's been using a program called Google Dashboard that tracks his mobile device.

"It's kind of intermittently allowing me to see where the phone is in real time," he said.

So Gierhart said he called police again and told them he could see where his phone was.

"They said the best they could do was have me go to the place and they would meet me on the way and they could escort me and I could ask for my phone back. That just seemed kind of, a little dangerous and passive."

The Google dashboard technology doesn't give you the house number but it does zero in on the exact location so WDRB went to track down the phone.

Our crew found what they believed to be the right house.

WDRB showed one of the Google drive pictures to the person who answered the door.

WDRB was told the man pictured lived there but wasn't home.

Meanwhile, Ben Gierhart knows who has his phone and where it is but still doesn't have it back.

"I mean it was something that I owned and it was taken from me so there's the principle of the matter. I just wish someone would have gotten to me a lot sooner."

WDRB spoke with the detective working the case but he wouldn't take questions.

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