8 on Your Side: App Helps Man Retrieve Stolen Phone - 8 News NOW

8 on Your Side: App Helps Man Retrieve Stolen Phone

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LAS VEGAS - Cell phone and tablet thefts can happen quickly. Within seconds, your device – which costs hundreds of dollars - could be gone. It happens everywhere, including in Las Vegas – sometimes with tragic results.

In May, two men allegedly tried to yank an iPad from the hands of 15-year-old Marcos Arenas. He died after the suspects allegedly ran over him with their SUV while trying to escape.

Not every theft story ends in death, but most end with someone victimized.

Lee Grube's Android phone was stolen at a wedding, but it wasn't gone for long. "I got it back in two days," he said.

He retrieved it quickly thanks to an app called Avast. It lays dormant until you need it. You activate it via text or through Avast's website after your device is stolen.

Once activated, the app turns on the phone's Global Positioning System, pinpoints the phone's location, locks the phone and sets off a loud alarm.

Learn More About the Avast App

"It's very annoying actually. If the volume is turned all the way down, it still sounds at full volume," Grube said.

The thief can't turn the alarm off. That didn't stop the person who stole Grube's phone from trying. Grube says the thief tried to activate the phone at AT&T.

"Sure enough, the associate heard the alarm go off, saw the screen come up, and he says, ‘Hey, you know I think you need to enter the password here,'" Grube said.

When the thief didn't know the password, the associate grew suspicious. He saw a message appear on the phone indicating it was stolen. That screen, which Grube activated via Avast, included his contact information. The associate called Grube and got him his phone back.

Avast can be downloaded on a 7-day free trial, but there are other steps you can take to retrieve your stolen property.

Metro Police says if your phone or tablet is stolen, immediately report it to authorities. Keep track of your device's serial number. That makes it easier for police to locate it. Finally, if you use an app like Avast or Find My iPhone to locate your missing device, let police know. If an officer is available, he or she may be able to track down your property and retrieve it for you.

If you have a problem you want investigated, contact 8 on Your Side at 702-650-1907.

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