A DURSLEY man has had his mobile phone returned only two days after it was stolen thanks to an ingenious app and the goodwill of the general public.

Mike Ind, of Rosebery Road, came home from a night out in Dursley, only to realise his Samsung Galaxy S3, worth around £300, had been taken from him at some point in the evening.

The next day the 28-year-old remembered he had purchased an application on the Android phone, called Got Ya, which automatically takes pictures of anybody wrongly typing the phone’s password – without them knowing.

The images are automatically sent to the registered keeper’s email, along with details of where the pictures were taken, so when Mr Ind checked his account he found numerous images of somebody attempting to access the phone in Gloucester.

He then promptly put the images on Facebook where his friends identified the thief and the red-faced culprit had no choice but to contact him, initially saying the phone was at the club where he'd been the night before.

However a visit showed it was not there and when the woman returned the phone to his home a few hours later, its memory had been wiped and the name changed.

"It was really annoying when I first realised it had been taken, it is worth a couple of quid," said Mr Ind.

"I was relieved to get it back but the memory has been wiped and the name changed on the phone. I will have to get it checked now to see if it has been damaged."

A spinner for Cam Mill, Mr Ind said he had been inundated with messages and calls since the recovery from people asking how it worked.

"I was getting so many that I had to post a video on Facebook explaining how to use it," he said. "I would really recommend it to everybody."

Dursley community sergeant Simon Davey suggested that in the future people should give any photos they have to the police instead of putting them on Facebook.

He said: "They should hand it in to their local police station and let them deal with the investigation because the potential offender may be a prolific one."