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Pursuing iPhone Thief, Officer Knew Right Buttons to Push

As crime-solving tools go, it may not have the same pedigree as, say, the oversize magnifying glass. But with apologies to Sherlock Holmes, an iPhone — specifically, the iPhone 4 — proved quite useful in helping police officers track down a robber on Thursday in Manhattan.

The case involved the robbery of a similar iPhone from a handbag store. On Friday, the arresting officer, Robert Garland, shared details about how the low-level crime occurred, and how the high-tech arrest was made.

At about 7 p.m. on Thursday, a cashier at Tuci Italia, at 1393 Avenue of the Americas, near West 57th Street, was taking a break near the entrance of the shop and watching videos on YouTube, Officer Garland said, noting she was wearing headphones.

Then, a man came into the shop, pointed a gun at her, grabbed her iPhone and fled, she told the police.

When Officer Garland and Sgt. Richard Coan arrived, they found the woman crying, but Mr. Garland reassured her. “I told her when I walked in, ‘I’m going to find your iPhone,’ ” he said.

Find out how it ends at NY Times here