Found an iPhone 6s+ that's been remotely wiped... Not really sure what to do with it

PaulDoFish

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 23, 2010
107
2
Hi all. I'm currently visiting home from school for MDW, and my parents tell me that some time during this week, they've found an iPhone 6S+ at the beach, randomly in the sand, while having a walk along the shore.

They waited a bit to see if the owner would either come back or give the phone a call, but nothing happens. So they take it home and wait for me to return the following weekend to see if I can figure out who the phone belongs to (my parents aren't the best with technology; didn't think to ask Siri). But it seems as if the owner has remotely wiped it.. as it is stuck at the activation screen now. So naturally I'm unable to ask Siri questions about the owner.

I've left it on for the past couple days to see if the owner would eventually put the device in "Lost" mode with contact instructions, but still nothing. (Can the phone even get into "Lost" mode while unactivated? idk)

Anyone have any idea what to do? Trying to be a good samaritan here but it's almost like the owner doesn't want his/her phone back.. :/
 
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willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,304
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Hi all. I'm currently visiting home from school for MDW, and my parents tell me that some time during this week, they've found an iPhone 6S+ at the beach, randomly in the sand, while having a walk along the shore.

They waited a bit to see if the owner would either come back or give the phone a call, but nothing happens. So they take it home and wait for me to return the following weekend to see if I can figure out who the phone belongs to (my parents aren't the best with technology; didn't think to ask Siri). But it seems as if the owner has remotely wiped it.. as it is stuck at the activation screen now. So naturally I'm unable to ask Siri questions about the owner.

I've left it on for the past couple days to see if the owner would eventually put the device in "Lost" mode with contact instructions, but still nothing. (Can the phone even get into "Lost" mode while unactivated? idk)

Anyone have any idea what to do? Trying to be a good samaritan here but it's almost like the owner doesn't want his/her phone back.. :/
Have you considered turning it over to the local authorities? (It is a piece of stolen/lost electronics equipment/personal property).

A CraigsList ad would be a nice gesture as well, but might invite more grief or hassle than it's worth.
 
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Neverbepeace

macrumors 6502a
Jan 14, 2009
771
227
New York
Most likely, the owner got their replacement device or got a new one under insurance. Either that device is blacklisted or the owner just wiped it and bought a new one without reporting it lost or stolen. Either way, sell it as blacklisted or turn it in to the police. Either you or somebody at the police department will end up taking that device home......
 

Kobbr

macrumors regular
Apr 3, 2016
105
299
Have you considered turning it over to the local authorities? (It is a piece of stolen/lost electronics equipment/personal property).

A CraigsList ad would be a nice gesture as well, but might invite more grief or hassle than it's worth.

The police are not gonna do anything. Might as well try to locate the owner yourself somehow some way
 
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PaulDoFish

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 23, 2010
107
2
Yeah, I figured there wasn't much I could do..

The beach is a few cities away so I'm not very inclined to drive all the way back to turn in the phone (and I doubt turning it in at my home city will get the phone very far to its owner.. Will probably get lost or forgotten about somewhere along the way). Currently trying to find any sort of "Lost & Found" office & its address to mail the phone to, but even that is proving difficult.. Hence why I'm posting here to see if there are any other clever ideas to identifying the owner :p

As for the iCloud email, it only shows the first letter and the "@ website".

And yeah I will probably try an Apple store too. Hopefully they'll just deal with it.
 
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willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,304
8,176
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Take it to the local apple store .Hand it over and let them worry about it.
What can/will they do?
[doublepost=1464661206][/doublepost]
The police are not gonna do anything. Might as well try to locate the owner yourself somehow some way
Furthermore, if the owner filed a police report--as is common for folks who want to file an insurance claim--they would have the owner's info on file.
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,913
3,482
Boston, MA
First, it's awesome you're honest and trying to do the right thing. It seems you didn't necessarily know what that was so you can here.

The idea of taking it to the police isn't that the police will do something. It's because people actually do check local police stations for lost items. Believe it or not my grandmother lost $200 cash walking home from the bank years ago. We went to the police station and t was there. It's always worth a try.

Are you certain to find the owner? No. But the police station is probably your best bet. As mentioned you could put the phone on Craigslist and ask for something like the imei. Nobody is going to guess that.
 

617aircav

Suspended
Jul 2, 2012
3,976
818
When I was driving for uber a passenger left and iPhone in my car. I found out hours after my shift was done. I put on gloves and tossed it onto the sidewalk. Hopefully someone picked it and gave it to the police.
 

bingeciren

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2011
877
744
I'd try an Apple Store. Most Apple devices are registered at Apple's database by their serial numbers for service and support coverage. Apple, in most cases, can match the device to the original owner.
 

617aircav

Suspended
Jul 2, 2012
3,976
818
For 617 Air Cav: Seriously, you didn't do that did you?

I did. A friend of mine who also drives uber drove 25 miles to return a phone a passenger left in his car. She promised him $40 for his efforts and when he got there she sent her BF down to pick it up, without the money. He wasted his gas and time. I was not willing to risk that.
 

joemod

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2010
196
23
Athens, Greece
If I was in your place I would do at least one of the following:
1) If you have twitter send a tweet at https://twitter.com/AppleSupport asking for further instructions. For example: "Found a wiped iPhone6S+. What should I do?". You may get an answer or who knows, the owner may be following.
2) (supposing that you are in US) call them at 1-800-MY-IPHONE. If you aren't in US find the phone number at https://support.apple.com/en-us/ht201232
3) Pull the sim card out of the phone and contact the carrier.

iPhone's IMEI number is written on the backside.
 

ZEEN0j

macrumors 68000
Sep 29, 2014
1,546
697
When I was driving for uber a passenger left and iPhone in my car. I found out hours after my shift was done. I put on gloves and tossed it onto the sidewalk. Hopefully someone picked it and gave it to the police.

It's the least you could do really.
 

bufffilm

Suspended
May 3, 2011
4,227
2,536
If I was in your place I would do at least one of the following:
1) If you have twitter send a tweet at https://twitter.com/AppleSupport asking for further instructions. For example: "Found a wiped iPhone6S+. What should I do?". You may get an answer or who knows, the owner may be following.
2) (supposing that you are in US) call them at 1-800-MY-IPHONE. If you aren't in US find the phone number at https://support.apple.com/en-us/ht201232
3) Pull the sim card out of the phone and contact the carrier.

iPhone's IMEI number is written on the backside.

#3 is what I'd do. #2 may yield a result too.

Giving the phone to the police in this case will mean little.
 
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willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,304
8,176
Here(-ish)
Several people have suggested taking the phone to Apple or calling Apple. Why? They sell and service phones. What will they do? Is there something I'm missing here?
 
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joemod

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2010
196
23
Athens, Greece
Several people have suggested taking the phone to Apple or calling Apple. Why? They sell and service phones. What will they do? Is there something I'm missing here?
Because:
A) There are two entities which most probably know who the owner is. Apple via iCloud registration and the carrier via SIM.
B) Most customers of Apple have a belief that Apple will do anything in its hands to solve issues. I personally believe that Apple will send an email to the iCloud account associated with the phone. I am waiting to see if I am mistaken.
C) In the case the OP is accused of stealing the phone he will have good evidence that he did everything he could to return the phone. The police is the last approach as it depends on iPhone's owner taking measures on his side too.

The case of finding a lost phone has two branches. The ethical branch of genuinely trying to find the owner and return the phone which is covered by approaching Apple and the carrier and the legal branch of not being accused of stealing it which is covered by Apple, carrier and police.
 
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ABC5S

Suspended
Sep 10, 2013
3,395
1,646
Florida
Owner would file a Lost report with the police, and if you brought it into the Police dept as found property, they would check and if they find the lost property report they would call the owner. You on the other hand would file a found property report, and it will have a file number, so no to the person that said, someone at the police dept would take it home comment. I've received numerous found property of all kind of value and made out a police report and once you have the number assigned to it, it's in the computer for all other department.

Take it into the police dept and file a found property report with an assigned number to it.
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,139
1,929
Manhattan
If you lock your iPhone you can display a message with contact information while the battery is still good. Not sure why people immediately go with the nuclear option to wipe the iPhone since you can also lock it remotely. Perhaps it was sitting there for a few days though.
 

Channan

macrumors 68030
Mar 7, 2012
2,615
2,168
New Orleans
I did. A friend of mine who also drives uber drove 25 miles to return a phone a passenger left in his car. She promised him $40 for his efforts and when he got there she sent her BF down to pick it up, without the money. He wasted his gas and time. I was not willing to risk that.
Wow, what a dick. But tossing someone's phone on the sidewalk is also a dick move.
 

MRU

Suspended
Aug 23, 2005
25,318
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Other
Yeah, I figured there wasn't much I could do..

The beach is a few cities away so I'm not very inclined to drive all the way back to turn in the phone (and I doubt turning it in at my home city will get the phone very far to its owner.. Will probably get lost or forgotten about somewhere along the way). Currently trying to find any sort of "Lost & Found" office & its address to mail the phone to, but even that is proving difficult.. Hence why I'm posting here to see if there are any other clever ideas to identifying the owner :p

As for the iCloud email, it only shows the first letter and the "@ website".

And yeah I will probably try an Apple store too. Hopefully they'll just deal with it.

You do not have to drive down to the local police station. Ironically given the subject matter, they actually have telephones these days. ;) You could just ring the local station and ask has anyone reported an iPhone lost on or around the date you / parents found it. If they tell you yes, give them your details and you can ask them to contact the owner and pass on your contact info ...... The owner can then arrange collection / recovery with you.
[doublepost=1464704857][/doublepost]
When I was driving for uber a passenger left and iPhone in my car. I found out hours after my shift was done. I put on gloves and tossed it onto the sidewalk. Hopefully someone picked it and gave it to the police.

Because its easier to 'hope' that someone else would hand it into the police rather than actually do it yourself ?
 

ABC5S

Suspended
Sep 10, 2013
3,395
1,646
Florida
"I did. A friend of mine who also drives uber drove 25 miles to return a phone a passenger left in his car. She promised him $40 for his efforts and when he got there she sent her BF down to pick it up, without the money. He wasted his gas and time. I was not willing to risk that."

Should have been the other way around. Have them drive 25 miles to pick it up. ;)
 
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