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Old Nov 29, 2012, 02:22 PM   #1
cjm3113
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Purchased iPhone/Reported Stolen

So a few weeks ago I dropped my iPhone 4 and it shattered pretty bad. I bought a second-hand iPhone 4S off of Craigslist because I don't have an upgrade for quite some time. I had the person meet me at AT&T and had the phone checked to make sure it was not stolen at the store before changing hands. The phone worked great for over 2 weeks and then a few days ago it stopped receiving service.

I did not know what was the cause, so I took it to AT&T store. The people at the store remembered me from having just been in there a few weeks earlier and were disappointed to tell me the phone had since been reported stolen and was now locked and unusable. They said despite watching me purchase the phone, once it is reported stolen - it is useless.

I have contacted the young woman who sold me the phone, and she says that she did not report it stolen, but that it was under her mother's account and she would make sure that her mother did not report it (this may all be BS for all I know).

Am I completely out of luck? If the legal owner of the account told AT&T that the phone was not stolen is it possible for it to be unlocked? Or is that just a waste of time anyways.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 04:01 PM   #2
Bob Coxner
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I would threaten the seller that you are going to report it to the police and she could be charged with selling stolen property.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 04:55 PM   #3
cjm3113
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I would threaten the seller that you are going to report it to the police and she could be charged with selling stolen property.
I have definitely considered this, but do the police really care? Is it significant for them to take any action?
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 05:02 PM   #4
Afbar1114
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Yes police do care about stollen items phones are over$500 and most states if not all its a crime and depending on state it can be grand larceny
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 05:04 PM   #5
tgi
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I've personally never had a problem like this and I've bought numerous phones from Craigslist, but it's stories like this that make me reconsider.

If the phone is transferred at an AT&T store, wouldn't that make the buyer the primary user for the phone going forward? Why would the previous owner be allowed to report a phone stolen when they had it transferred to a new owner? I think once the IMEI has been switched to a new account, only the new account holder can report it stolen.

I thought one of the safeguards of avoiding buying a stolen phone from Craigslist is to meet the seller at a corporate store to ensure phone can be activated with no issues. But even if you take that step, the seller can still report it stolen weeks later? WTF
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 05:05 PM   #6
lelisa13p
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Originally Posted by cjm3113 View Post
I have definitely considered this, but do the police really care? Is it significant for them to take any action?
It matters to you and they are public servants. They work for you. Tell the seller you'll be filing the police report regarding selling stolen property and see what happens; then do it if you need to.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 05:21 PM   #7
cjm3113
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Originally Posted by tgi View Post
I've personally never had a problem like this and I've bought numerous phones from Craigslist, but it's stories like this that make me reconsider.

If the phone is transferred at an AT&T store, wouldn't that make the buyer the primary user for the phone going forward? Why would the previous owner be allowed to report a phone stolen when they had it transferred to a new owner? I think once the IMEI has been switched to a new account, only the new account holder can report it stolen.

I thought one of the safeguards of avoiding buying a stolen phone from Craigslist is to meet the seller at a corporate store to ensure phone can be activated with no issues. But even if you take that step, the seller can still report it stolen weeks later? WTF
What I don't understand is how I can stand in the AT&T store, have them tell me that they cannot help me because my phone is "stolen", yet let me walk out of the store with it telling me that it is basically just a glorified iPod at this point.

If my phone is stolen, and some one put in a claim, why do they not attempt to recover the phone from me?
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