Boy, 8, Uses iPad App to Catch Tenn. Burglar

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on March 28, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

An alleged serial burglar is behind bars in Tennessee, thanks to an angry 8-year-old boy and his iPad app.

Someone broke into Landon Crabtree's home earlier this month and stole two iPads along with other valuables including the boy's PlayStation, Nashville's WTVF-TV reports.

"He was really mad, because a lot of the stuff was his," Landon's mother said. But then the third-grader figured out how to get even.

Landon Crabtree had downloaded a handful of games on his stolen iPad -- along with an app to track his iPad if it ever got lost or stolen.

"I was looking on YouTube ... and I saw some videos about that app, how to retrieve lost iPads," Landon told The Tennessean. He checked the tracking app on a home computer, then told his parents the good news about their iPad burglary.

"He was upstairs, and came down and was like, 'Dad, I know where our iPad is!'" Landon's father told WTVF. "And I'm like, 'What are you talking about?'"

The tech-savvy third-grader explained the app, called "Find My iPhone" (which also works for iPads), to his befuddled parents. A blinking dot on their computer screen showed Landon's stolen iPad was at a nearby hotel. Landon's father called police, and 30 minutes later, the alleged thief was in custody.

The accused burglar, John Docherty, 46, was caught with dozens of other stolen items -- not just from the Crabtrees' home, but also from an apartment complex nearby, WTVF reports. Docherty faces aggravated burglary charges, and has a court date in April.

Even if Docherty can somehow show he didn't commit burglary -- an unlawful entry for the purpose of committing a crime -- he could instead be charged with receiving stolen property, since stolen items were found in his hotel room. It's not clear what defenses Docherty may try to claim.

If Landon Crabtree gets his way, the iPad burglary won't be the last crime he solves. The 8-year-old told WTVF he wants to be an FBI agent when he grows up.

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