Kenneth Schmidgall wanted his iPhone back – even if that meant a fight.
Schmidgall, a 26-year-old San Diego construction worker, lost the phone at a concert just before New Year’s. Thankfully, he had installed a tracking app to locate it in case it got lost or stolen.
Accompanied by his roommate Greg Torkelson, a freelance photographer, the pair set out on a mission to find the device, eventually tracking it down to a location near Torrey Pines State Beach, where a man on a bike appeared to be trying to sell it.
“I saw the gentleman on the bike and we followed it and kept tracking it and every time it would stop, the guy on the bike would stop,” Schmidgall told KGTV-TV, a local television news station. The alleged thief then realized he was being followed, and tried to evade the two men. That confirmed in the minds of both Schmidgall and Torkelson that they had found their culprit.
Schmidgall eventually managed to corner the man, who reportedly tried defending himself with a rock in his hand, and at one point even threatened to throw the phone into the ocean. Torkelson, who’d been filming the incident, then stepped in and pepper-sprayed him, keeping the man subdued until the local authorities showed up.
Was it worth it, though? Perhaps only Schmidgall can answer that. “It’s not about the phone that is so much important, it’s just the fact that people can get away with this kind of stuff all the time with cell phones being stolen. People don’t stand their ground for it.”