How an iPhone Stolen from Jinja Led to Arrest of Suspects in Kampala

Police have used iPhone’s iCloud service to track and arrest two suspects in Kampala who are accused of robbing over 23 mobile phones at last weekend’s Vumbula concert in Jinja city.

The flying squad unit (FSU) in collaboration with crime intelligence and cyber unit arrested Julius Nuwamanya, 20, alias James Nsubuga and Mark Kisakye, 20, all residents of Kyebando central zone, Kawempe division, in Kampala.

It has emerged that out of 23 mobile phones stolen from the Vumbula concert, 12 were iPhones whose iClouds the police crime intelligence cyber unit used to track the movements of the suspects until they landed at their residence in Kampala.

After successfully locating the signals of the iPhones, the cyber team alerted FSU and crime intelligence which raided the house in which Nuwamanya and Kisakye were operating and were found with the exhibits.

“We suspect these people were planning to alter the iPhone details because they are technicians who knew that they could be tracked using the iCloud. But our team was first at tracking their movements from Jinja up to Kampala,” a security source said.

Security explains that Nuwamanya and Kisakye had started dismantling the phones perhaps with the intention of reselling them with altered features. Luke Owoyesigyire, the deputy Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, said the suspects have been disguising themselves as self-employed electronic technicians in Kyebando.

Owoyesigyire explained that the exhibits include 12 iPhones, three Samsung smartphones, one itel smartphone, a blue Nokia smartphone, three button itel phones, three Nokia button phones, and a power bank.

“A case of possession of suspected stolen items has been registered under Kanyanya police station. The recovered items are properly exhibited and securely attached to the case file. Relevant statements obtained during the investigation have been included as evidence,” Owoyesigyire said.

Security also recovered three national identity cards, a Ugandan passport in the name of Judith Kyarimpa, a Saudi Arabian ID also in the name of Judith Kyarimpa, eight MTN sim cards, 13 Airtel sim cards, three Lyca mobile sim cards, and three damaged hard disks.

Security says the recovered mobile phones were found in a second-hand state, with some displaying cracked screens and covers. The suspects had removed the sim cards from the iPhones but they still had photos of their rightful owners on the screens.

This is not the first time an iPhone has led to the arrest of thieves and robbers. Last year, an iPhone stolen from a Jacob Arok, a South Sudanese pensioner in Bunga led to the arrest of city socialite Charles Olim alias Sipapa.

“During the subsequent investigations, detectives from KMP, tracked down an iCloud signal, from one of the stolen iPhones, that led them to the location in Kityo close, Buwate in Kira Division. They interviewed the occupants, who told them that the home belonged to a one Olim Charles Sipapa, who was not at home and had traveled to Tororo,” Fred Enanga the police spokesperson said.

Sipapa and his gang had not only allegedly stolen four iPhones but also $429,000 (over Shs 1.5 billion) cash but also two Apple laptops, a Dell laptop, gold jewelry belonging to Arok’s wife, and a 65-inch Samsung TV screen. 

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