A stolen iPad has been recovered after its owner switched on a tracking device to reveal where it had been taken.

The man, who wished to be referred to only as "Allan", had his car and tablet stolen from Ponsonby on Friday.

"I'd just got a new job and so I bought it as a treat," he said.

"I'd gone out with my cousin to celebrate [with] a few drinks and when we went back to the car it had disappeared, along with my new iPad ... that was the main thing I was upset about, that I'd lost my new toy."


Allan said police found his car on Saturday morning but his computer was missing.

"I had this Find My iPad feature and turned it on, but unfortunately nothing was showing because they hadn't turned it on ... then [on Monday] I tried it again and found it was out in Kelston."

He was able to track the device to an exact address so he called the police to let them know he had found it.

"I could actually show the police a satellite picture and you could see the little circle of exactly where it was in the garage."

He said the police knocked on the door of the house but the people there denied they had it.

"Then I got it to play an alarm at full bore and the cop could hear the alarm, which was enough just cause for him to enter and apparently it was about 5m away from where on the picture it was shown and he found it in a backpack."

The recovery of the iPad gave police enough reason to search the rest of the house, where they found a stash of suspect goods, Allan said.

"Now these guys who have apparently been stealing other things have been caught because of it.

"People are always paranoid about Apple tracking you - but if you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to worry about. Sometimes it can even work in your favour."

According to Apple's website, users can register products on their home computer so they can control them remotely if they get lost. Users can also locate their iPads on a map, get the device to display a message and even wipe its memory.

Police say two men have been charged in relation to Allan's stolen car and a third has been charged with receiving the stolen iPad.

Acting Senior Sergeant Steven Salton of Henderson said police were still investigating other items found at the house.

He said it was not the first time tracking devices had helped police recover stolen property.