Help with Stolen iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by saud0488, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. saud0488 macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2011
    Just had my iPhone 4s stolen today and I had a few questions. I called AT&T and they said that they would block the imei from being used on ATT, and the person's sim card would also be blocked. I know that they can do that for a fact.

    My only question is, is that can the person who found/stole it still activate it on say, t mobile or another carrier if they get it unlocked? What would stop them from exchanging it at an Apple Store at the genius bar? I already called Apple and they say that they can't and won't block serials or IMEI's. They won't even list it as stolen or lost.

    Isn't blocking IMEI useless if Apple doesn't also block that phone? I'm just worried cause I have a feeling that I know who took it but what's to stop them from taking it to Apple and getting it exchanged? I would file a police report but how useful are those?

    This sucks:(
  2. m0no macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2009
    Sorry about your phone but Apple won't do anything about it. As you mentioned, ATT can block it but that doesn't prevent it from being used on another carrier. Unfortunately, I don't think there is much you can do. Did you happen to activate Find My iPhone? That would seem like your best bet.
  3. Geckotek macrumors G3


    Jul 22, 2008
  4. bandofbrothers macrumors 601


    Oct 14, 2007
    In the Uk they block stolen handsets out to all networks via the imei.

    Unfortunately handsets are stolen to send abroad where the imei lockout does not hold !

    I had my iphone 4 stolen a few months ago and by the time i had logged in they had turned off the find my iphone app and showed offline. Thankfully i had app-locker installed which gave extra security to my data.

    After having my network block it and sent a message and then remote wipe command, i moved on and bought the 4s.
  5. spades1412 macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2009
    How did the phone get stolen? Just curious. I've never had a phone stolen but also never left it in a position to be stolen.
  6. vbtwo31984 macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2010
    You don't have to leave it anywhere. It can get ripped out of your hand, you can be mugged at gun/knife point, etc.
  7. SouthsideJohnny macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2011
    Muggers, carjackers, pursegrabs -- to name a few ways.
  8. saud0488 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2011
    Stolen from my dorm room.

    Anyways whoever seems to have stolen it did a factory restore, thus the Find my iPhone won't work on it.

    Would there be anything to stop the guy from unlocking and getting it replaced at the Apple store? I'm asking cause since I reported to AT&T, I know it won't work on their network but I see a bunch of these unlocking services claiming to unlock even lost/stolen IMEI's.

    Makes me sick to my stomach to think of someone with my iPhone. Dumb, I know, but still.

    the database isn't national yet it seems. I've been all over a bunch of forums and it seems that people are still unlocking stolen/lost smartphones nowadays and using them with the carriers other than what they're for.
  9. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    I don't think ATT blocks the IMEI and Apple won't do much about it either. But, you may get lucky when he tries to go get it serviced, it might show up as stolen but you're better off playing the lottery instead. Just chalk it up as a lesson learned and never leave anything in your dorm. When I was dorming in college, I never left without my phone, even when I went to brush my teeth. Now, I have an apartment and that's much better since you know the people around you and the only guy that likes to play with my phone is my yorkie. He likes to slide it around the couch.
  10. phr0ze macrumors 6502a

    Jun 14, 2012
    Columbia, MD
    2 years ago my wifes iphone was stolen. I called att and they said they marked it stolen. Well I still had to get her a new phone. But a month later, I got a call from a local ATT store. The person had tried the password too many times and locked down the phone.

    ATT called in the cops. The person who was trying to activate it said they bought it on craigslist.

    Long story short, we got the phone back. :D

    I feel bad if the person did pay for it though.
  11. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Like you said there's nothing stopping them.
    They can bring it to Apple if its under warranty for something and get it replaced with a clean IMEI iphone and use the new iphone with no probs.
    But it doesnt help to keep thinking about it, just move on.
    Either way you're not getting it back.
  12. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    That probably happens all the time too :(
  13. kannesss macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2008
    I had a girl sell me an iPhone 4. Then reports it stolen, so she can get a replacemt cheaper. Pretty crazy, she took down the Craigslist ad and everything. But one day I saw her at the store, and started yelling at her, and she got out her phone right there and called Verizon and said it wasn't stolen. They actually took it off the list surprisingly.
  14. saud0488 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2011
    You got the call from AT&T or Apple? Pretty crazy that happened. I guess if that guy was smart he would have just done a DFU restore (or he really wanted to see your wife's pictures/texts). I could see you getting the call from AT&T for sure. Apple though seems to mind their own business when it comes to this stuff.
  15. Fank macrumors member


    Jan 27, 2009
    OH USA
    My daughter had her 4s stolen by a pick-pocket at a mall. She was near an Apple store so asked for help. Find my iphone showed it was in the parking lot at the mall but shortly thereafter the phone was shut off by whoever stole it.

    Verizon (her carrier) was notified later that day, and put it in their database as stolen.

    Since Applecare is totally useless for stolen phones (unless you happen to have an old iphone to swap), we had an upgrade due on our Verizon plan and she used that to get a new iphone4s, but lost her grand-fathered data plan.

    I'm hoping sometime her stolen phone will be brought in to a phone store by the thief or whoever bought it from the sh*thead that stole it, and after a store employee checks the SN it will be confiscated by the store and later returned to my daughter.

    But I won't hold my breath.
  16. faiz23 macrumors 6502


    Oct 8, 2010
    Any phone can be reset and used on the same carrier or a different carrier. At&t can block the IMEI all day long but you can use it on Red pocket, H2o or straight talk which are all MVNO for AT*T. You can unlock for $7.60 and use it on T-mobile or world wide. Sprint phones and Verizon phones can be flashed over to Virgin, Page Plus, Metro pcs or criket. ...... MOVE ON and get a new phones. Learn from this lesson and don't let it happen again. Simple DFU restore and you are on your merry way with any iphone.
  17. PNutts macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    Make a police report. Also report it to whatever authority is over your dorm, e.g., campus police on a university. Some folks do end up feeling remorse and try to right a wrong and you'll need to be available. And if you end up making an insurance claim of some kind, my experience has been they want a report filed with some authority. Sorry you lost your phone. That really stinks.
  18. chris2k5 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2010
    Sigh...Too many of these stories and it makes me kinda sick. So many thieves!

    Apple should:

    1. Require a password to shut down phone
    2. Require a password to do a factory reset

    And 3...You should already have a passcode on your phone so they can't turn off Wifi or 3G/4G/LTE.

    This alone would give a lot of people the opportunity to track their phone down using the Find My iPhone feature...
  19. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    That will never happen.
    Phone stores or Apple stores dont have the right to confiscate or take possesion of reported lost or stolen property.
    And can care less. Imagine the liability they would face if they were trying to play FBI of lost/stolen cellphones.

    You forgot a password to pop open the sim tray:D
    You take out the sim card on a cellphone then there's no way of tracking it.
  20. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    These are welcomed changes but they can be easily circumvented by entering DFU mode. So DFU mode needs to require passcode too.
  21. faiz23 macrumors 6502


    Oct 8, 2010
    omg guys are crazy with all the passwords. How about I just sell the iphone for parts (harvest all items like battery, screen, casing, and sell motherboard to some other fool) and right away open up the case and disconnect power to the board. Basic pentalobe screwdriver that any enthusiast/thief would have on hand. What are you protecting home land security on your iphone. Get some sort of insurance if you have a habit of loosing your phone for loss/theft. If you are mature than stick with applecare+ for the OH FARK moments in life......
  22. Fank macrumors member


    Jan 27, 2009
    OH USA
  23. FSMBP macrumors 68020


    Jan 22, 2009
    Best solution would be you can report your iPhone stolen to Apple (via online, iCloud, phone, or retail store). Then, they will block activation on that iPhone (render it useless).

    Apple's in the phone-selling business and either way, they would be selling a new iPhone to the original user. And it's not like a seller would sell his iPhone then call Apple to report it stolen to block it (what would the seller gain out of it?).
  24. Interstella5555 macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008
    It was in my back pocket when one of the muggers grabbed me by the throat, it was out two seconds later when the other one demanded it.
  25. rak007 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 31, 2011
    Would a jailbreak app like iCaughtu pro be helpful in such situations ?
    This is assuming the thief is not very knowledgeable of putting the phone in DFU mode or restore it ?

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