Stolen bike and bag tracked by an Iphone app

Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.
Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.

When he stole a bicycle a 34-year-old man did not realise that an I-phone in a bag on the bike had a tracking device which eventually led police to him.

Emanuel Whitla, Chestnut Place, Banbridge, appeared last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court by way of videolink from Maghaberry prison.

He admitted the theft of a bicycle and I-phone, to the value of £2,500, on April 9 this year.

Mr Conor Downey, representing the defendant, said Whitla had been out on licence and when this happened his licence was revoked. He was not due for release for another 12 months and would waive his right to a pre-sentence report.

The court heard that on April 9 this year a man was out for a cycle with his 14-year-old son and stopped at Tesco’s filling station in Craigavon to get a drink.

Whitla approached the boy and asked for a test drive of his father’s bike and the boy said he would have to wait until his father returned. Whitla drove off on the bike.

There was an I-phone in a bag on the bike with a tracking app and police went to a house where they found the bike in a kitchen. Whitla went to a hot press and gave the phone to police.

Mr Conor Downey, representing the defendant, said that his client was not interviewed until two days after he was taken into custody which indicated his status but now he was in a better place both mentally and physically.

The District Judge sentenced Whitla to six months in prison to run concurrently with his current sentence.