California woman tracks down stolen backpack using Tile app

SAN FRANCISCO (WPVI) -- Surveillance video captured the moments when Hannah Beckman and her sister were enjoying a night out at the Executive Order Bar when in the blink of an eye her backpack went missing.

"This man came and sat down and waited for my sister to leave and used that opportunity to pick it up off the hook and walk out the door," said Beckman.

Hannah first thought getting her backpack back was a lost cause until she remembered the Tile tracking device attached to her keys.

"I was getting notifications," she said. "It felt close enough that I still had hope."

She said she called the police twice but clearly it wasn't a high priority case.

That's when Hannah's week-long tracking mission began, with the help of others who have the tile app and reported her keys' locations.

"With the Tile notification I tracked it to this alleyway in San Francisco's Mission District," she said

This is where Hanna gets her last ping and decided to take matters into her own hands.

"I go down there. I have the app, I have his photo and peek around the corner and see he's there," she said.

In this case police believe Hanna did everything right.

"She took some initiative to go out to the scene and verify that her property was there, then she stayed back and called 911 and waited for police," said San Francisco Police Sgt. Michael Andraychak.

Hannah did get her backpack and keys back, albeit in filthy condition. Her laptop inside still hasn't been found.

She has this message to anyone with the tile app who helped her track down this guy and led to his arrest for grand theft.

"Using caution and your judgment can make a difference and you can help people," she said.
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