iPhone app helps nab alleged thief

A Queens woman was able to help police catch the man who allegedly snatched her iPhone 4 last week with the help of a $5.99 anti-theft app.

Erum Malik, 31, was walking on Liberty Avenue in Ozone Park, Queens, at about 10 p.m. last Monday, Oct. 3. That’s when a man bumped into her, she told police, and reached into her front right pocket to grab her black iPhone 4.

He was off and running before she even knew what happened, she told police.

However, Malik’s phone was equipped with an app called iGotYa.

When the alleged thief later unsuccessfully tried to unlock and use the phone, the gadget snapped his photo and e-mailed it to Malik.

The mother of four sent texts to the phone, offering a $200 reward if she could get it back.

“I didn’t want him to be in trouble,” Malik told the Daily News. “I just wanted to get my phone back.”
Malik then brought the photo to the police.

“When I told them I had the picture, everyone was surprised,” she said.

Police distributed the image to the media last week and put up wanted posters in the neighborhood.
On Friday, Oct. 7, police recognized 23-year-old Queens resident Brian Chattoo from one of the posters, according to the NYPD press office.

He was arrested and charged with the theft, but his family says Chattoo looks nothing like the man in the iPhone photo.


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