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Cops Use iPhone App to Foil Washington Heights Cellphone Thief

By Nigel Chiwaya | May 2, 2013 7:35pm | Updated on May 3, 2013 9:49am

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — A cellphone thief was arrested Sunday when officers from the 34th Precinct tracked him down using Apple's Find My iPhone app, police said.

Ariel Malave, 32, was arrested for robbery after he was caught with a stolen iPhone on the same block where the crime occurred, the NYPD said.

Cops said Malave and an accomplice swiped the iPhone from a 22-year old woman who was talking on her phone on the corner of West 184th Street and Wadsworth Avenue at 5 a.m. on April 28. The men knocked down the woman before making off with the phone, police said.

The cops who responded to the scene, officers Katharin Gardner, Sherif Baksh and Matthew Jagoda, were able to track the device with the Find my iPhone app on Jagoda's iPhone.

They didn't have to travel far. The officers found Malave hiding on the rooftop of 616 West 184 St., a building on the same corner where the robbery occurred, police said. The stolen iPhone was recovered.

Malave, who has been charged with one count of second-degree robbery, previously served five-and-a-half years in prison for the September 1999 beating death of 36-year-old Julio Infante in Washington Heights. He served an additional 20 months for a parole violation, police said.