A vigilante couple tracked down burglars who ransacked their dream holiday home in Victoria using their son’s $299 smart watch.
Samantha and Adam Riddle took the law into their own hands when they noticed the GPS had been switched on the stolen watch sold at Officeworks.
The pair followed the thieves, who allegedly stole valuables from their home in the Latrobe Valley in their car, before alerting cops who arrested them after a dramatic police chase.
Samantha Riddle (left) and husband Adam (right) were at home in Latrobe Valley when an alert showed the watch was turned on and in another town
Samantha Riddle bought the spacetalk watch for her son Jack (pictured) so he could ride his bike safely in near their holiday home in East Gippsland and she could contact him
Samantha, a mother-of-three, told Daily Mail Australia: ‘All of a sudden the spacetalk watch activated on our phones. We looked at each other knowing it could only mean one thing.
‘I’m doing the navigating, yelling and talking to police at the same time,’ she said.
‘I’m in tears about my little house, saying to my husband “there they are, follow that car”, there is a lag time with the watch so we were driving about a minute behind them.’
The device is a phone, GPS tracker and security features that allow Samantha to see where he is riding his bike – and so Jack can call if he is in trouble
When the thieves turned on the smart device it sent an alert to Samantha and showed GPS coordinates on a map
The Riddle family only bought their ‘little dream home’ in East Gippsland as COVID-19 struck.
‘I actually used to holiday there as a child, my family had a holiday house there when I was young, it’s like going back in time for me. It’s a beautiful place,’ said Samantha.
After they bought the house, the nurse was out shopping and saw the $299 spacetalk watch and thought it would help keep their son safe while he rode his bike near their home.
The watch for young children also acts as a phone, GPS tracker and features in-built security measures like an SOS or call for help function.
‘These people obviously didn’t know what this thing was, they turned it on and we tracked them to their location and they had no idea we knew exactly where they had been, they could not lie.
‘It has just been one of the worst things to have happened to us but with the greatest outcome,’ said Samantha.
‘We just couldn’t believe it, we didn’t buy the watch for that obviously, what we had bought it for was already enough, it has already been a fantastic little device.’
Victorian Police confirmed a 36-year-old Morwell man has been charged with a number of Burglary related offences and is expected to appear at Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court on 29 September.
They also arrested a 40-year-old woman with handling stolen goods.
The frantic mother called police as they left the house, trying to explain why they thought their house had been burgled, she said ‘I’m doing the navigating, yelling and talking to police at the same time,’
Victorian Police arrested a 36-year-old Morwell man and charged him with a number of burglary offences, a 40-year-old woman was charged with handling stolen goods