attempting to locate stolen iPad installed with Prey

New Contributor III

So I just received a report that one of our managed iPads has been stolen, it was last seen online by my JSS and Prey on 18th April which doesn't bode terribly well, it may already have been discarded once they realised they couldn't use or reset it.

The device is managed/supervised with passcode and activation lock enabled to an icloud account I manage so it's no use to anyone else but we'd like gather enough evidence to recover it if possible. I've flagged it in FMI to notify when found and marked in Prey as missing but unless it connects to the internet that won't do much.

I'm contemplating pushing a heavy restriction profile to it stripping access to apps and user data, clearing the passcode then requiring a new one to be set in the hope that whoever's got it will then connect to a network so Prey can start reporting. I've tested this before and it seems quite effective but am a bit tentative about doing it to an actual stolen device. There's a current restriction profile which prevents uninstallation of apps or device reset so even if the new restriction profile didn't take they can't remove Prey, I guess I run the risk that they may use the time between passcode clear and new passcode requirement to reset it in iTunes (if they were to do this would the activation lock still show location in FMI if they attempted to activate it?).

Has anyone had any success getting an iPad back online like this or have any other suggestions which may help?


New Contributor III

Carrie, unless you have an iPad with more than wifi, I've found my hands pretty much tied here until the device hits a known network. I've had the most luck just locking the iPad completely and put a message on the screen to return to the school immediately. Out of 6 stolen iPads, I've had 2 returned out of pure by a person who tried to reset the device after purchasing off the street and one by the student who miraculously found it when their Student account was billed for replacement.

I'm actually trying to talk some city councilmen in Joplin to work on a city-wide wifi solution, putting forth community benefits/uses, etc., but for nothing else, device recovery (my own selfish need).

I hope that helps in some way....

Dusty VanGilder

New Contributor III


I'd given up any hope of finding this iPad, but it started filing inventory reports to my JSS again last week and today we got a location for it! Still have to try and get the Police to recover it but I'm really surprised to see it again, I thought it was long gone.