We tracked Doncaster phone theft suspect

Dave (centre) and Peter Tuczemskyi chased and caught a thief who pinched Dave's wife Nina's handbag, which included her phone, using an app to track her phone. Picture: Andrew Roe
Dave (centre) and Peter Tuczemskyi chased and caught a thief who pinched Dave's wife Nina's handbag, which included her phone, using an app to track her phone. Picture: Andrew Roe

A suspected thief was caught when two cousins tracked him across Doncaster using mobile phone technology.

Dave and Peter Tuczemskyi were still overjoyed yesterday after their detective work led to a 26-year-old man being detained by police, and the recovery of an iPhone stolen from Dave’s wife on Thursday morning.

“The thief thought he was going to get away with it but he didn’t,” said Dave, a 36-year-old who works for a Finningley-based energy farm.

“It was a feeling of pure elation when we caught the suspect. Technology and perseverance enabled us to catch him less than an hour after, and pursue him from one end of Doncaster to the other.”

The chase began when Nina Tuczemskyi placed her handbag in her car before popping back into her home in Bessacarr to pick up a coffee.

While her back was turned a man on a bike rode off with her handbag, containing the iPhone, her purse, credit cards and other valuables.

A neighbour had seen what happened and gave her a description of the suspect before she called the police and her husband.

Dave said: “Then I thought that all these mobile mobile phones have got GPS tracking technology, so I logged in on my phone and that brought up a map showing the exact location where Nina’s phone was.

“It was moving across the area between Asda and Belle Vue, so me and my cousin jumped in the car and set off to find it.

“I called Nina and she set off from home as well. I could see the phone had stopped near the Grand St Leger for a few minutes and then headed along Bennetthorpe towards the town centre, going down Wood Street, Silver Street and then on to Copley Road.”

Nina was keeping police abreast of their movements and several patrol cars converged on Copley Road.

“Then we lost the tracking signal so the police advised us to go home while they continued the search. We were just walking back to our car when Peter saw this lad who looked at us and looked a bit nervous.

“Then he pulled a white iPhone out of his pocket so we asked him whose it was and he bolted straightaway. All three of us set off after him but Nina dropped out because of her shoes!

“Me and Pete kept running and we finished up on Christ Church Road where he threw the phone into a garden.

“Then he stopped and asked why we were chasing him. By that time six police cars were there and they arrested him. They’ve got the phone back but nothing else has been recovered yet.”

Dave said police told him it was rare for the tracking devices to work so well and quickly.

“It was a great feeling to know our perseverance had paid off and shows the value of the tracking technology,” he added.

Doncaster police reiterated their top tips to avoid falling victim to car crime, including the installation of tracking software to electronic devices, locking doors and closing windows before leaving a vehicle, and never leaving items on show.

* Carl Riddiough, aged 26, of Carr House Road, Doncaster, has been charged with theft and remanded in custody by Doncaster magistrates.