Dropped my iPhone in a strangers car

sohaloh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 10, 2012
149
3
London, Ontario
Hi Guys,

Need some advice. I was on my way back from the mall when a young woman called out to me in the parking lot. She needed help backing out her car. While I was backing out her car my phone slipped out of my shallow pockets and dropped into her car. I realized it after a couple of minutes and went home to find it using find my iPhone. I tracked the phone while it was on the move and put it in lost mode with a message and my phone number. Played sounds quite a few times and then waited by the phone. When I didn't get a call, I tracked the phone again, it had been at one address since an hour so I decided to drive down there hoping I would spot the car and find the girl. I went to the address but couldnt see any car, tracked the phone again from a mcdonalds with my ipad it was still at the same address. I asked around, knocked on doors but no one answered. Abit of a ramshackle neighbourhood cuz the houses didn't even have doorbells. After trying alot I went to the police station hoping theyd help me out but they said they didnt have the man power to go knocking on peoples doors specially since the phone is just lost and not presumed stolen. I came back home and tried to track it again and now its off. Im pretty sure the battery was half way the last time I tracked it. Dunno what to do. All I know is the side of the block it was tracked to and that the girl was a blonde driving a white car. I bought my phone unlocked for $1200 with apple care :( iPhone 5S 64 GB. Any ideas how I can get my phone back? Thanks.
 
Last edited:

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68000
Aug 10, 2006
1,784
434
UK
Scenario 1: She is honest and would like to return it to you, but may not even know it is still in her car. That would presume she didn't hear it play sounds when you used Find my iPhone, which could be because she wasn't in the car or because she heard the sounds but didn't know what they were or where they were coming from. Now the battery is flat. She may find it later (could be much later if it has gone down a gap) and then she might contact you if she can find someone to charge it up and then see the message, or she might hand it in.

Scenario 2: She has found the phone and thinks she will be able to get it wiped and become hers.....which she won't because of Activation Lock. You are unlikely to get it back because she intends to keep it.

Ideas:

Insurance?
Spend more time at the block you last tracked it and hope you see the car?
Go back to the mall at the same time of day/week and hope you see her or the car again.
keep checking with police if it has been handed in.
 

sohaloh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 10, 2012
149
3
London, Ontario
Scenario 1: She is honest and would like to return it to you, but may not even know it is still in her car. That would presume she didn't hear it play sounds when you used Find my iPhone, which could be because she wasn't in the car or because she heard the sounds but didn't know what they were or where they were coming from. Now the battery is flat. She may find it later (could be much later if it has gone down a gap) and then she might contact you if she can find someone to charge it up and then see the message, or she might hand it in.

Scenario 2: She has found the phone and thinks she will be able to get it wiped and become hers.....which she won't because of Activation Lock. You are unlikely to get it back because she intends to keep it.

Ideas:

Insurance?
Spend more time at the block you last tracked it and hope you see the car?
Go back to the mall at the same time of day/week and hope you see her or the car again.
keep checking with police if it has been handed in.
Thanks Mike. I'm hoping more for scenario 1, just because I don't know why someone would want to steal from a guy who sincerely tried to help her, but a couple of things are making me lean towards scenario 2. The first being when I went to the tracked address I didn't see the same car and there were no garages. Just small houses, so I think the phone was inside the house somehow. The second was that my battery was showing at half till the last time I tracked it after which it suddenly went off. Im not sure how accurate findmyiphones battery estimations are. Either way if its scenario one and the phone is lying in some crevice with a flat battery I think itll be ages till she finds it, let alone charge it and see the message. I tried to remember which car it was, and couldnt remember exactly except for the color which was white. I went on google maps and did a satelite view and street view of the address and I found a white car parked at the exact same address. A pointac G6. So im pretty sure thats her house, but I don't know how to go about it. I mean if I knock on her door and she calls the cops or something. Refuses that she has my phone. I have no way of proving I dropped it in her car. Man...im so pissed off.
 

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68000
Aug 10, 2006
1,784
434
UK
I would be really upset in your situation too.

I didn't know you could see battery level on Find my iPhone. So while you were tracking it you could see battery level? And it went from half full to being switched off very quickly? Does rather imply she found it and turned it off.
 

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68000
Aug 10, 2006
1,784
434
UK
Possibly. But then maybe she thinks he dropped it deliberately. To track her.:eek:

She may be just as confused or concerned about his intentions. Imagination can play tricks.
That is a scenario 3 I never thought of! If that is the case wouldn't she most likely take it to the police? (unless she is hoping that he will track her...which doesn't really hold water as she would have contacted him by now)
 
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nateo200

macrumors 68030
Feb 4, 2009
2,857
6
Northern District NY
Grab a friend that happens to be a detective? I'm partially kidding but you really have to be careful, I'm not even talking about the sketchy area and potentially people but you dont want to knock on everyones doors asking for you very expensive electronic device back....doesn't give them anything in return. So if you really want to investigate it I would file a report with the police, unfortunately you sort of made a mistake by saying it was only missing, if you had said it was potentially stolen (which could and might be a possible scenario) it would have been taken more seriously, could be found faster (but not THAT much faster, stolen goods is pretty low on the list depending where you live) and once you had the phone back you could clear up any issues. Anyways ask about a blonde girl driving a white car not your expensive iPhone.
 

617aircav

Suspended
Jul 2, 2012
3,976
818
How can you be sure the phone was in her car. It might have fallen somewhere else and someone picked it up.
 

sohaloh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 10, 2012
149
3
London, Ontario
Possibly. But then maybe she thinks he dropped it deliberately. To track her.:eek:

She may be just as confused or concerned about his intentions. Imagination can play tricks.
Lol, I don't need to drop my 1200 dollar iPhone in a chics car just to get laid.

And about the police I went to them, they said they didn't have anytime to go looking for it. So I was like, you're suggesting I knock on peoples doors? And he was like eh, sure. This is London, Ontario btw.

----------

How can you be sure the phone was in her car. It might have fallen somewhere else and someone picked it up.
My phone always slips out of these pair of shorts. I realized it as soon as I helped her and when I went home, I tracked the phone while it was moving. But I guess there is a possibility but very slight that its someone else.
 

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68000
Aug 10, 2006
1,784
434
UK
Any chance she was a professional thief?

Using her dodgy car to attract help and pickpocketting you and others in the process?

Anything suspicious about how the initial encounter arose? Did she ask for help or you volunteer? Was she dressed to catch attention etc?
 

sohaloh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 10, 2012
149
3
London, Ontario
Any chance she was a professional thief?

Using her dodgy car to attract help and pickpocketting you and others in the process?

Anything suspicious about how the initial encounter arose? Did she ask for help or you volunteer? Was she dressed to catch attention etc?
No, I doubt she was a professional theif. She called out to me as I was heading back to my car. She asked whether I could drive a stick shift and I said sure. I'm sure I wasn't pickpocketed because she never came close to me. I just sat in the car and tried a couple of times before she told me I should just help her push the car out. I'm sure I dropped it in the car because its happened to me numerous times in my own. Im always fishing out my phone from the crevice between the seat the center console. Ugh...I made an online lost property report with the police incase she decides to return it there. I just hope she cant hack into the phone. Its got a passcode etc but I didn't erase it before it died in the fear that I wouldnt be able to track it any further. I have all my bank apps, and icloud keychain hooked up to safari with literally all my passwords. I hope apple has made everything secure.
 

sebmed

macrumors newbie
Jun 1, 2014
1
0
Try to track it again. It's possible there was no signal (car parked underground or she was going through a no service zone)
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
36,962
25,955
Behind the Lens, UK
No, I doubt she was a professional theif. She called out to me as I was heading back to my car. She asked whether I could drive a stick shift and I said sure. I'm sure I wasn't pickpocketed because she never came close to me. I just sat in the car and tried a couple of times before she told me I should just help her push the car out. I'm sure I dropped it in the car because its happened to me numerous times in my own. Im always fishing out my phone from the crevice between the seat the center console. Ugh...I made an online lost property report with the police incase she decides to return it there. I just hope she cant hack into the phone. Its got a passcode etc but I didn't erase it before it died in the fear that I wouldnt be able to track it any further. I have all my bank apps, and icloud keychain hooked up to safari with literally all my passwords. I hope apple has made everything secure.
Does the mall have security cameras in the parking lot? They might have a video of you pushing her car and you could get her license plate number to track her.
Whilst you are there, she might have had the same issue before, so ask the parking attendants/security if they know her. Or if they get asked in the future they might be able to ask her about the phone (for that to work you might need to offer a finders fee).
 

lambo

macrumors regular
Jul 6, 2008
132
0
FL
Dude get this girl arrested. Contact the mall and have them check the cameras (I think you'll need a note from the police).

Bring screenshots of findmyiphone too.
 

MsRandall

macrumors 65816
Nov 27, 2011
1,119
505
Bay Area, Ca
She would a serious scumbag to keep your phone after you helped her / I would try knocking on the door again and if no answer I would leave a note and hope for the best that she calls to return the phone
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,759
15,219
Jacksonville, Florida
Dude get this girl arrested. Contact the mall and have them check the cameras (I think you'll need a note from the police).

Bring screenshots of findmyiphone too.
Just what do you have her arrested for. She did not steal the phone, it was left in her vehicle by the owner. That is not illegal.
 
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