Oh, Find My iPhone – the hours minutes you’ve saved me searching through my apartment for a misplaced smartphone! Fortunately, recovering an iPhone handset I’ve discarded somewhere inside is the full extent to which I have had to rely on Apple’s iCloud-powered Find My iPhone service, which can also find your iPod touch, iPad and Mac. However, for some folks, Find My iPhone has been rather a lot more than a mere convenience.

For example, take Reddit-user “pnine,” whose near-woeful tale Cult of Mac published a couple of hours ago. After going for a swim in the ocean and leaving his clothes – complete with his iPhone and wallet – on the beach (calm down; he was wearing a wetsuit!), this unlucky Apple fan had his smartphone and wallet stolen by some crook. Fortunately, all was not lost. As Cult of Mac explains:

So, the victim logged into iCloud on his laptop, and found that his iPhone, courtesy of the handy dandy GPS and Find My Phone app installed, was currently on its way down the street. He drove toward the signal, and saw the alleged perpetrator, wearing the stolen pants, boxer underwear in hand.

Confronting the thief, pnine began to yell. The thief denied having stolen anything, even when confronted with the very obvious fact that those were pnine’s underwear in hand. Asking a passing cyclist to call 911, pnine managed to convince the crook to toss the phone and wallet into the side window of pnine’s car, and the thief walked on, pants still firmly on.

A police report was made, pnine got his wallet and iPhone back, but not his pants.

The moral of the story? Download Find My iPhone if you haven’t already – it’s free, quick to set-up, and could save your iDevice. And for extra measure, avoid leaving your iPhone unguarded on a beach.