stolen

Umpire strikes back over 'stolen' iPhone

May 24, 2011 at 8:40 PM ET

Forgetfulness, tracking software and a case of mistaken cellphone identity led a kids' baseball umpire to hunt down and punch a man he mistook to be an iPhone thief.

The Hunterdon Democrat, a local New Jersey newspaper, reported the story of the Sunday squabble. 

Carl Ippolito thought he'd left his iPhone in his car. When he found it missing, he presumed it was stolen and used tracking software on his son's phone to hunt it down, according to the newspaper. The tracker led him to the canal towpath between Cherry and Elm Streets. (See map below.)  

The chase led him to Brent Johnson, who was walking down the street outside Niece Lumber and talking on what Ippolito wrongly identified as his pilfered smartphone.

Johnson edged away, but Ippolito was quick, and managed to grab his shirt and land a few punches on the younger man, cutting his chin. The umpire was taken into custody by the police. 

Bing Maps /

In what we imagine was a sheepish moment, the real coordinates of the missing phone eventually became apparent:  

Ippolito later learned that he had inadvertently left his cellphone in the snack shack at the baseball field, where he had been umpiring a youth baseball game, police said, and it was still there.  

Though it wasn't a hundred percent clear that Johnson was holding his own iPhone, we presume it was. At least now we know it wasn't Ippolito's. 

As to the headline pun, we'd like to take full credit, but we must share it with Hunterdon Democrat reader vman1967, who wrote it in a comment.

More on stolen stuff: 

Nidhi Subbaraman is a tech and science intern at msnbc.com, and knows who to call when her stuff is swiped. Find Nidhi on Twitter, and check out Technolog on Facebook 

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