If it was locked, then the thief cannot put the device online unless he/she wipes the device. If the device is wiped then you will not be able to find it.
Apple is in no way responsible for the theft nor its recovery. Apple provided tools with limited use that you did not fully understand. Your daughter is responsible for its loss, no one else. If you failed to understand the limitation of the tools provided by Apple, then that's on your back.
What To Do If Your iDevice or Computer Is Lost Or Stolen
If your Mac, iPhone, iPod, iPod Touch, or iPad is lost or stolen what do you do? There are things you should do in advance - before you lose it or it's stolen - and some things to do after the fact. Here are some suggestions:
- Reporting a lost or stolen Apple product
- Lost or Stolen iPhone? Here’s What to do.
- 6 Ways to Track and Recover Your Lost/Stolen iPhone
- Find My iPhone
It pays to be proactive by following the advice on using Find My Phone before you lose your device:
- Find My iPhone
- Setup your iDevice on MobileMe
- OS X Lion- About Find My Mac
- How To Set Up Free Find Your iPhone (Even on Unsupported Devices)
Third-party solutions for computers:
This does not accurately describe how to use the App or its limitations. I am not blaming Apple for the loss. I am unhappy with the lack of effective solutions and the deception that icloud will be able to find your product if you have it installed and enabled.
...... but because it was locked with a security code it is always "offline"......
That is quite incorrect, a locked device can be located by "find my phone". The reason that your device is denoted as off-line, is because either it is switched off, the battery is dead or it is unable to connect to a network to be detected. Apple have not deceived you.
Leslie207 - I had the exact same issue. Purchase iPod Touch, installed Find iPhone, daughter had it stolen, device is always offline. In hindsight, Find iPhone is just that - iPhone, NOT iPod. Apple did not care to see if the serial number was re-registered. I was hoping to find a solution, so if you locate one, please let me know!