Vancouver Police Help Find Woman's Stolen iPhone

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Candice Webster - Vancouver Police Department - VPD

More often than not, we have seen negative press that bitterly demonizes the work our police officers do. To put it quite bluntly: this culture of disdain is wrong and unfair; police officers deserve to be properly respected.

There is no question that police officers are not perfect, after all they are human and are therefore subject to making errors or mistakes in their judgment. From time to time, when examined in hindsight, some decisions made in the spur of the moment could have been better.

However, this is merely a case within a minuscule minority – or as the saying goes, a few bad apples within the bunch. But should it reflect on the forces as a whole and the amazing work they do everyday? Of course not. Never.

As one Vancouver Police Department officer wrote to Stanley Cup rioters: “You’ll sleep soundly in your bed tonight because men and women like me will always be there to deal with your poor choices. You have no idea how fortunate you are, even after we arrest and charge you. Even though you disgust me, if you call for me in the middle of the night I’ll respond. I’ll protect your life and property because it’s right and it’s what I do.”

At the end of the day, the first and foremost priority of each officer is the safety of every person they serve – even if it means putting their own lives in the line of fire to protect us.

This segues into a reader submitted story by Candice Webster (pictured above with VPD Sergeant Tom McLean), detailing the extent of the Vancouver Police Department’s efforts to quickly track down and arrest a man who stole her money and iPhone.

I finished my shift at Hyde Restaurant at 12:30 a.m. and went up to The Five Point on Main Street for a quick last one. We ordered drinks and joined a group of friends by the fire place.

There was a man who was there that was not originally part of the group and was suspicious, but we thought he may have just been very enthusiastic. We all hung out together for about 20 minutes. He then tried to leave without paying his bill which gave us notice of his exit.

Shortly after, the server, Sydney brought me my purse from the other side of the room. I looked in my purse and realized approximately $200 in cash and my iPhone were missing. I then walked back down to my restaurant to get onto my laptop and locate my phone with the Find My iPhone App.

As I was locating my phone, which was tracked to the intersection of Columbia and Cordova, I phoned the Vancouver Police Department’s non-emergency line (604-717-3321) and filed the report.

From there, the dispatcher and myself tracked the phone via the App through East Hastings and Gastown while police were sent to the area. After tracking for about 10-15mins, an officer by the name of Tom came to pick me up to bring my laptop down to Gastown and track the phone from there.

Once we got to Gastown, we rendezvoused with 3 additional police officers where we discussed who may have taken the phone. An officer by the name of Marcus showed me a picture of the possible suspect and I identified him as the man from the Five Point that we had suspected.

At this point, my phone was not pinpointing where it could be exactly but it was within a four block radius of Abbott and Cordova. We then drove around Tinseltown where my phone was immediately pinpointed precisely at Abbott and Cordova.

We then drove to that intersection where we spotted the suspect and his female friend walking southbound on Abbott at Cordova. Tom asked me if I was sure that it was the suspect and I said I was sure.

We then followed them up to the intersection of Abbott and Hastings where Tom, Christine, Marcus and additional officers intercepted the suspect and searched him.

Once my iPhone was recovered, Tom brought it to me and asked me to unlock it. I did, and then proved that it was my phone. They continued to search the suspect and then Tom gave me a ride to a friends bar for last call where I gladly celebrated with a well deserved drink.

The officers were so amazing for helping me track my phone as it is so important to me for family, friends and work contacts.

Do you have a positive story to tell about a emergency services responder? Are you a police officer, fire fighter, paramedic, ER nurse or doctor with a story to tell? We want to hear your stories, in your own words. Send them by email via tips [at] vancitybuzz.com

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