So I locate my stolen iPhone. Then what?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by DavidCar, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #1
    Actually, it was not my iPhone, but that of a child of a friend of mine. I go to their house, and they ask me about locating the lost phone because I advise them about iCloud, etc. We locate the phone in a place suggesting that someone found it and took it there, apparently in a small apartment block. The big brother wants to go there and demand the iPhone back. I hesitate, and we have other immediate plans, but I suggest the phone company be contacted to avoid long distance charges. We get back a few hours later and learn that the phone has now been disabled by the phone company, and they indicate there have been bad experiences reported by people who have tried to demand their iPhones back. The phone company said the only thing done with the phone was that a few text messages were sent out-of-country, and I thought that since the closest thing to the last location of the phone on the map was a set of mailboxes, I wouldn't be surprised if the phone was on its way out of the country as well. I am no longer able to trace the disabled phone, but the next day I put a note on the dumpster at the apartment block with my number on it.

    So did I take the right course? One problem was I needed to leave within a few minutes of locating the phone, and I didn't have much chance to think about it.
     
  2. macrumors regular

    Sulten

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2011
    #2
    most would of called the cops and gone there with them. have them sort it out and possible get the phone back. problem is your delayed and now its disabled..
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #3
    And knock on all the 8-10 doors in the apartment block?
     
  4. Guest

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #4
    while using FMi to have the iPhone in question play a sound or display a text message. :rolleyes:
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #5
    And was I too concerned about long-distance charges, or could I have waited until the next day to call the phone company, or the police.

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    When I'm there at each door with the police.
     
  6. Guest

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #6
    How else?
     
  7. macrumors 604

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #7
    I think it depends largely where you live if the police are going to do anything for you. We have heard stories of police tracking a phone, and we have heard stories of police advising you to file a report and that's that. I would start with the police, but there i no guarantee that this will get you anywhere. The next best thing is to put up a message on the phone with a number to contact.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #8
    I'm thinking now that if I would have set up an iCloud linked account on the family iMac with iMessages, I would have been able to read the text messages that were sent out, and texted them back, if that would have helped.
     
  9. macrumors 604

    lordofthereef

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    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #9
    What would that accomplish, exactly?
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois
    #10
    ummm you would be amazed how accurate the location tracking is....99% of the time my iPhone is within 3m....at least here in Canada.....when I am connected to my WiFi....my router is located in the centre of the house...we have two located in the centre on each floor and my iPhone shows it being in my room instead of just showing the location of the house.....if you keep zooming in it can show you quiet close.....best thing to do for anyone in the future who is reading this if you can/want to call the Police, Go with them, keep zooming in on the location and soon you will be able to locate it at its exact spot (99% I would say) then knock on the door, immediately if/when someone comes to door and police question only then activate the sound on the iPhone....because if you be stupid enough to play sound in advance you will most likely end up alerting the person and giving them heads up to prepare to be confronted but no one would expect the sound to be playing at the last minute.....thats just what I would do in such a situation and I hope it helps someone
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    #11
    Only if it was being sent to another iPhone. If it was sent as a text, you ain't seeing that in iMessage unfortunately.
     
  12. macrumors 68030

    sulpfiction

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Location:
    Philadelphia Area
    #12
    The phone was stolen. You got lucky and were able to track it for a brief period. U knew where it was and chose not to call the cops, or to go there. What else are u expecting people to tell u? It's over now. The only chance u had is now gone. And yes, I would have brought an officer to each and every door.
     
  13. macrumors Nehalem

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #13
    I agree.
    You could have tried the police, hopefully they would have knocked on a few doors for you.
    Again it doesnt mean they would do that or even if they would if noone answered the door the cops would eventually go.
    So besides that not much could have been done unless you want to risk trying to retrieve it back yourself and start a confrontation with strangers. It could have been any apartment in the building or maybe the person answering the door would have no idea what you're talking about and maybe called the cops on you for bothering them.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #14
    It would have given me another way to collect information about the situation, and maybe of communicating with the person who had the phone.

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    OK, sounds reasonable. Collecting information that way would be unlikely.

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    Sounds good. We tried calling the phone to see if someone picked up, but got no answer. With your approach, we would not have tried sending a message with a contact number first either.

    We watched it go back and forth a few times between the building and the parking lot, and last saw it under a tree. When I got to the area the next day, I could see the tree was on the other side of a wall, so that was inaccurate. I had called the people in the house on the other side of the wall before I went there, and they searched their backyard and found nothing.

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    I was caught flat-footed, and I want to think it through again now so I'll have a better idea what to do next time. The older brother was really trying to convince me to take him there so he could confront them.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 19, 2004
    #15
    The phone was initially lost by a kid in probably a high-traffic area, so it could easily have been picked up by another kid.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    #16
    Wow i would have just gone and got the phone back after all what's the point of finding the phone if your not going to recover it.
     
  17. macrumors 604

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #17
    And you're making the assumption that the phone was found and someone immediately went off to start sending texts back and forth from this strange number? :confused:
     
  18. macrumors 68020

    dccorona

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #18
    This is a technique I've advised a friend to try in the past and seen it work: it's worth a shot

    You can send a message to a lost iPhone to display on the screen, and make it play a noise regardless of wether or not the sound is on. So send a message saying I know where you are and if you don't return the phone I will call the police. Then play a noise so their attention is brought to the phone. It may just freak them out enough to return it to you
     
  19. labman, Apr 28, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012

    macrumors 604

    labman

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    Mich near Detroit
    #19
    your evidence (the phone) are gone not much you can do now. window of opportunity is gone so unless they confess to having it you are sol. sorry. I'd fill out a police report if you haven't that's about all you can do.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 19, 2004
    #20
    The phone company said there were several texts sent.
     
  21. macrumors 604

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #21
    I guess I missed the out of country texts in the original post. Unfortunately iMessage wouldn't do anything for you here, HOWEVER, you should be able to get a record of the number where the messages were sent. Not sure that would get you anywhere, but it's worth a shot I suppose.
     
  22. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #22
    So I'm hearing two approaches.

    1: Assume the people are good and just made a mistake in picking up the iPhone when they had the chance. Send them a message over Find-My-iPhone and somehow arrange to get it back. But there were contact numbers in the address book where they could have called if they had wanted to make the effort to try to find the owner. And there is a chance they're illegal aliens (because of the out-of-country text messages) and would want to avoid any kind of trouble or contact.

    (On the note I posted on the dumpster I mentioned the option of taking the phone to a nearby store, thus allowing them to avoid any contact with me personally.)

    2: Assume the people are bad. Call the police. Give no advance notice over Find-My-iPhone, and if the police are willing, go knock on doors, ready to trigger a sound on the phone.
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Mariana Trench
    #23
    Many kids are tech driven now, I would be surprised if they had not restore the iPhone to factory settings via iTunes already.
     
  24. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #24
    I believe it was lost for a few days before I found out about it, so it wasn't reset immediately.

    If I would have realized that contacting the phone company would result in losing the ability to track the phone, I might have told them to just wait until I returned from my appointment before doing anything. But then I was concerned about phone charges.
     
  25. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Location:
    The most populated city in the planet
    #25
    Expect a lot of spam calls...
     

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