Thursday, January 10, 2013

Man tracks down stolen iPhone and fights thief
SAN DIEGO - A dramatic video showing a fight over an iPhone is starting to go viral.

It all started on Dec. 30, when Kenneth Schmidgall lost his iPhone. He said he kept calling it, but no one would answer. His friend Greg Torkelson wanted to help.

"We just wanted the phone back," Torkelson said. "Some of it was a little bit of adrenaline… you know, it was the chase of trying to get the guy."

As a local freelance photographer, Torkelson is often following chases like that. This time, he was in the thick of it.

The two used the Find My iPhone app to track the signal and spent hours working on it until they pinpointed one person riding a bicycle.

"I saw the gentleman on the bike and we followed it and kept tracking it and every time it would stop, the guy on the bike would stop," Schmidgall said.

The video shows Schmidgall getting hit in the face at the Torrey Pines State Reserve. He claims there was a rock in the other man's hand.

The two continued to fight until Torkelson said he pepper-sprayed the man and tried to make a citizen's arrest. Then, a man who said he was an off-duty police officer stepped in until police arrived.

10News asked Schmidgall if an iPhone was worth the violence.

"It's not the phone that's so much important," he said. "It's that people get away with this kind of stuff all the time with cellphones being stolen."

Torkelson said, "Hopefully, he won't try this again and that anybody else out there that's seen the video or is watching the segment will also think twice before stealing somebody's phone."

"I do think I taught him his lesson," said Schmidgall. "I really don't think people should be going out and getting in fights with people because of their cellphones but there comes a point when you have to stand up for yourself and say, 'This is my stuff, and I'm not going to let people get away with taking it.'"

Torkelson believes the alleged thief was taken into custody for outstanding warrants from separate incidents. However, police have not yet been able to confirm that.


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