POLICE have used an Apple app to catch a thief in the act of stealing an iPad.
In Hervey Bay Magistrates Court yesterday, Julie Ann Burdeu, 44, pleaded guilty to nine charges including drug offences, fraud and entering premises to cause an indictable offence.
The court heard that in May this year, Burdeu entered a room of a hotel in Hervey Bay while the victim was out.
She ransacked the room and stole clothes, medication and an iPad.
When the victim came back to see their room trashed and their possessions missing, they informed the police.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Donna Sperling told the court police had used Apple tracking software to find the missing tablet, consequently finding Burdeu.
"The software showed the iPad moving along Murphy St," Snr Const Sperling said.
"Police patrolled the area and spoke to the defendant."
The officers used the software to activate an alarm built into the iPad, which went off in Burdeu's handbag.
"[Burdeu] told police she found it on Watson St while walking home," the prosecutor said.
"And 15.2 grams of cannabis was also found."
Burdeu's defence lawyer Matthew Clutterbuck said stealing the iPad was the first time his client had committed that type of offence.
He said she was trying to turn her life around.
"She is seeing ATODS and is trying to get off drugs," Mr Clutterbuck said.
"She is deeply remorseful to the court for her actions."
Magistrate Graeme Tatnell sentenced Burdeu to 18 months' imprisonment, with her parole date set yesterday.
Mr Tatnell said while on parole, the woman would receive help to overcome her drug addiction.
"Probation is an opportunity for you to get over this drug problem," Mr Tatnell said.
"How would you like it if someone broke into your unit and stole your stuff?"