Owner's updates on stolen iPad as it traveled across America grips Twitter followers

  • Owner followed his iPad's movements in Miami and Memphis using an app on his iPhone and provided updates
  • The tablet went missing during Shelby Bonnie's change-over at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
  • Hundreds of Facebook fans tuned in for updates on the iPad's locations, which Bonnie published online daily
  • Device was later returned after its owner sent balloons and message to house where it ended up in Miami

One lost iPad's trip home turned into a hilarious Homeward Bound-style thriller tuned into by hundreds when it went missing at an airport.

The journey of Shelby Bonnie's lost tablet went viral after he followed it around Miami and Memphis using an app on his iPhone. He provided regular updates to hundreds of keen followers on Facebook who branded the tale 'better than Game of Thrones'.

The investment banker from San Francisco tracked the iPad, which went missing during a change over at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, and was surprised to find it more than 1,000 miles away in Memphis, where it stayed at a hotel, played golf and even stopped off for lunch.

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The investment banker from San Francisco tracked the iPad, which went missing during a change over at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, and was surprised to find it more than 1,000 miles away in Memphis
Shelby Bonnie reunited with the device

The investment banker from San Francisco tracked the iPad, which went missing during a change over at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, and was surprised to find it more than 1,000 miles away in Memphis (left). Pictured right: Shelby Bonnie reunited with the device

After it went missing, Bonnie informed his friends that he had tracked the tablet down and it 'seemed to be staying at the Elvis Presley Heartbreak Hotel in Memphis' (pictured)

After it went missing, Bonnie informed his friends that he had tracked the tablet down and it 'seemed to be staying at the Elvis Presley Heartbreak Hotel in Memphis' (pictured)

Bonnie was boarding his flight to the Bahamas when he realised the Apple device wasn't with him and after landing in the Caribbean he decided to use his Find my iPhone app to locate where in the Florida airport the tablet was - or wasn't.

Opening the app - which can be used to pinpoint missing Apple devices including iPads and laptops - Bonnie discovered that the tablet had in fact left the airport, and flown to Memphis.

Speaking to the New York Times, he said that he thought that he had definitely lost the device so decided to 'have some fun'.

Posting on Facebook, Bonnie informed his friends that he had tracked the tablet down and it 'seemed to be staying at the Elvis Presley Heartbreak Hotel in Memphis'.

However he added that how it arrived there was a mystery to him as 'there were no flights that would have gotten it there in time.'

One follower replied asking the banker to 'keep fans informed as to the results of the mystery' and others questioned if he would try and get it back, to which he replied that he had sent a message to the home screen offering a reward for the iPad's return but was 'more excited to see where it goes next'.

Sure enough, the next day Bonnie received an alert saying that the tablet was in Downtown, Memphis. Uploading a screenshot of its trip, the banker updated fans saying: 'I hear the restaurants are great there so I hope it grabs a good byte. I have decided that I am going to deliver balloons to whichever home it lands.'

The journey of Shelby Bonnie's lost tablet went viral after he followed it around Miami and Memphis using an app on his iPhone

The journey of Shelby Bonnie's lost tablet went viral after he followed it around Miami and Memphis using an app on his iPhone

The biggest twist in the story came when Bonnie almost bumped into his device when he was back in Fort Lauderdale waiting to board his flight home to San Francisco
Taking to Facebook he said: 'iPad is within 100ft of me. I am in Fort Lauderdale and catching flight back to San Francisco. This is so very weird. Have set off sound, no luck'

The biggest twist in the story came when Bonnie almost bumped into his device when he was back in Fort Lauderdale waiting to board his flight home to San Francisco. Taking to Facebook he said: 'iPad is within 100ft of me. I am in Fort Lauderdale and catching flight back to San Francisco. This is so very weird. Have set off sound, no luck'

HOW TO TRACK YOUR DEVICE USING THE FIND MY IPHONE APPLICATION 

Find My iPhone helps you locate and protect your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac if it’s lost or stolen. 

Using the app you can locate your device on a map, play a sound on your device to help you find it, use Lost Mode to lock and track your device and remotely erase all of your personal information from the device.

To use the app, you will need to have the device connected to your iCloud account.

You will then be able to log in to Find my iPhone from any device and track where your property is.

Source: Apple 

The next day Bonnie's phone sent through a new location - to which he updated fans that the travelling tablet was now 'playing golf' at the Riverside Golf Club in Memphis.

He wrote: 'What would a Monday be for an iPad without golf?'

One fan replied that the updates were 'better than Game of Thrones' and another said 'the sisterhood of the travelling pants have nothing on your iPad'.

The biggest twist in the story came when Bonnie almost bumped into his device when he was back in Fort Lauderdale waiting to board his flight home to San Francisco.

Bizarrely, he received an alert from his app that the tablet was arriving on an incoming flight from Memphis.

Scurrying over to the gate where an Allegiant Air flight had landed he watched as passengers disembarked and he set off the device's distress signal.

Taking to Facebook he said: 'iPad is within 100ft of me. I am in Fort Lauderdale and catching flight back to San Francisco. This is so very weird. Have set off sound, no luck.'

Despite the close encounter, Bonnie did not manage to track down the runaway device and told his followers that it was 'playing hard to get' and must have been in checked luggage.

A few hours after he crossed paths with his tablet, he received another alert. The iPad had reached a 'nice' residential address 'with a pool' in Miami Lakes. 

Keeping his promise to send off a gift when the device settled at an address, Bonnie shared his receipt on Facebook for $50 (£34) worth of helium balloons with the message 'Thinking of You' printed across them.

Facebook fans commented that the note was 'creepy enough' to make the new owner want the tablet out of their house. 

Writing on Facebook, Bonnie said: 'iPad is on the move. I think he is heading back to the airport.' One commenter replied: 'I think they must have received your balloons'

Writing on Facebook, Bonnie said: 'iPad is on the move. I think he is heading back to the airport.' One commenter replied: 'I think they must have received your balloons'

Shortly after tracking the iPad back to Fort Lauderdale Airport, Bonnie received a telephone call from the airport to say his device had been found

Shortly after tracking the iPad back to Fort Lauderdale Airport, Bonnie received a telephone call from the airport to say his device had been found

 I think your balloons must have arrived
Facebook commenter 

With the gift - addressed to Shelby's iPad - he attached a message with his telephone number, stating that the device had 'sadly run away from home' and that he would really like to welcome it back.

The next morning Bonnie received the final alert. The iPad was travelling to Fort Lauderdale airport.

A Facebook commenter said: 'I think your balloons must have arrived'.

Shortly after he received a telephone call from the airport to say his device had been found.

Updating his fans, Bonnie said: 'As described by lost and found when they called a second ago, a fairly elderly woman came in a few minutes ago and said she had gotten the balloons and thought it would be a good idea to return the iPad to the airport.

'She said to thank me for the balloons, but she didn't really want to call.'

The iPad was soon shipped back to San Francisco by UPS. Upon arrival Bonnie posted an image of him holding it in front of a 'welcome home' banner.

A commenter said: 'This story had it all. Plot twists. Suspense. Curve balls and a happy ending. I agree with everyone else... I can't wait till season two.'

On its way back to San Francisco, Bonnie said: 'Is iPad on his way home or off on another adventure?' Much to his followers' amusement

On its way back to San Francisco, Bonnie said: 'Is iPad on his way home or off on another adventure?' Much to his followers' amusement

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