Clubber used Apple AirTag to track down thief who stole her handbag from bar – before then finding it up for sale on Facebook Marketplace
- Christopher Cragen stole the woman’s bag from Flares, a bar in Newcastle
- The victim’s family spotted the bag advertised on Facebook and told the police
A clubber used Apple AirTag to track down a thief who stole her handbag from a bar – only to find it up for sale on Facebook Marketplace.
Christopher Cragen took the bag from inside Flares, in Newcastle, and handed it to a friend to sell on Facebook.
The victim used the Apple tracking device to locate the general location of her bag, which contained £340-worth of goods, while her family spotted it advertised on Facebook and reported it to the police.
Officers traced the profile of the woman selling the bag and attended her address, a court was told. She immediately told them who was responsible for the theft and Cragen was traced and arrested.
The crook, who has more than 200 offences on his record, was due before Newcastle Magistrates’ Court earlier this month but failed to show and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Christopher Cragen (pictured outside Newcastle Magistrates’ Court) took a woman’s bag from inside Flares bar and handed it to a friend to sell on Facebook
Cragen, of Arthur’s Hill, Newcastle, then appeared in the dock in custody to plead guilty to theft.
Jennifer McKelvin, prosecuting, said the victim was in Flares on October 6 last year when she left her handbag with a friend. However, when she returned a short while later it was missing.
Ms McKelvin added: ‘She used Apple AirTag to locate the area where the bag was. At the same time, her family looked on Facebook Marketplace and saw it for sale under the profile name Keira Bates. Police attended her address and she named Christopher Cragen as being responsible for the theft.’
The court heard that some of the items were returned while some were not,and the victim remained £286 out of pocket.
Ms McKelvin also said that Bates, 37, of Houston Court, in Elswick, had previously admitted handling stolen goods and was awaiting sentence next month.
The thief, who has more than 200 offences on his record, was due before Newcastle Magistrates’ Court earlier this month but failed to show and a warrant was issued for his arrest
In a statement, the victim said: ‘This theft caused me a great deal of stress and upset due to the knowledge that a person unknown to me took my personal items, which included details of my home address, along with my house keys.
‘This caused a great amount of anxiety that people might be able to get access to my address.’
Alanna Wesencraft, defending, said the theft was opportunistic and not planned. She added: ‘Mr Cragen has had no convictions for theft for three years.. He found the bag on steps inside Flares. It was a theft by finding.’
District Judge Paul Currer adjourned the case for the preparation of a pre-sentence report and released Cragen on unconditional bail to return to court with Bates on May 19 for sentence.