I found a locked iphone(No Sim). Can I find owner?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by FoundanIphone, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. FoundanIphone macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2012
    I work in a semi-fast food place that is open after the bars close and caters to drunk people in a college town. A "lost" iPhone turned up. It is an iPhone 4s( A1387). It has no sim card, and is turns on to a "configure" screen that just says configure in a bunch of languages and asks for a password.

    My best guess is that someone must have tried to steal it at a bar/house party(Why else would you be walking around at night with an iphone with no sim in configure mode?) And wound up either ditching it here or drunkly losing it themselves.

    so my Question is: If it is in configure mode, is the owners infor already gone? I assume it must have something left since the password is still intact. I tried some of the suggestions I found online(Trying to use Siri/voice dialing) but they don't seem to work in configure mode. I also tried putting my own sim card in it, but that didn't help. My phone is a regular iphone4(a1332) if that matters. would finding a 4s sim make a difference? There are a few people at work who I could bum one off for a few minutes.

    I haven't tried anything that requires a computer(we don't have iTunes at work), but I'm the manager so I suppose I could take it home if that would help.

    If there are no "tech savy" ways to find the owner's contact info, are there more low-tech serial #s or anything that Apple/The carrier would keep track of? If so, does either company care enough about lost phones that they would actually help find the person if I called them? I return lost **** all the time, so I presume they wouldn't give me any info for privacy reasons. But some companies are happy to dig up the customer themselves and earn some good will... others don't really care and just say there is nothing they could do.

    If that isn't an option that basically leaves craigslist/the cops. The cops around here don't care at all about lost property. They just hold it for a while and then auction it off. Giving it to them is basically admitting defeat. But I suppose it at least gets rid of any legal liability.

    As far as craigslist goes, the only thing I can think of to verify ownership would be knowing the password. But I don't want a bunch of skeavy people coming into work trying to guess it. The store owner would be upset. Is there a more definite form of Identification I could demand that would prevent opertunists from trying their luck?

    Any other general advice?
  2. kuisis macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2012
    Pittsburgh PA
    Don't you have a lost and found? I know if I woke up with no phone I would trace my steps from the night before. I think the person who lost it will turn up.
  3. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    If the phone was stolen and ditched, as the OP suspects, the rightful owner would have no reason to check the Lost and Found at a place they never went to.
  4. LapsangSouchong macrumors 65816


    Jul 15, 2010
    the burrows
  5. Jst0rm macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2012
    nothing to add but I think its cool of you to go through all of this to find the owner. Props to you.
  6. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    I agree.
    All you have to do is tell your manager at work that you found an iphone and if someone comes there looking for it to give it to the rightfull owner.
    If noone comes, calls or asks for it within a week or 2 then its up to you what you want to do with it after.
  7. sangreal06 macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2012
    He said he is the manager.
  8. doc shivers macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2012
    Well, If I worked in a fast food joint then I would have already pawned the thing, so kudos to you for not doing so.
  9. flameproof macrumors 6502a


    Jan 14, 2011
    ...but wouldn't the police do an automatic check if it's reported stolen?

    If it was stolen I presume the SIM was ditched and then they did a reset.

    The device ID should still match with somebody, or at least with a sales record.

    Checking with an Apple Store could be one idea.
  10. No1nfoProvided macrumors 6502

    Dec 1, 2009
  11. gregnauman macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2010
    go through the menu to start up the phone and then get the serial number and call apple.
  12. billinaz macrumors 6502


    Sep 11, 2008
    Goodyear AZ.... for now.
    And they wont tell you a thing. This has happened several times....
  13. rritterson macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2008
    DC USA
    If it's in configure mode and requires a password, it sounds like it's been remote wiped via find my phone. Last possessor may have abandoned it after it wiped.

    If you get the serial, you may be able to convince a genius to look up the support profile and pull the owner's contact info. But that's unlikely simply because you could just as easily be a crazy stalker who stole someone's phone and now wants an address.

    Last time something like this happened to me, AT&T just pissed me off. But, you might give them a call with the IMEI (on the SIM tray) and maybe they can facilitate a way to act as go-between for mailing it back to the person.
  14. PNutts macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    Report it to the store owner or the police. They'll know what needs to be done with it. For all you know it was reported stolen and its in your hands. The longer you have it the less good your intentions look.
  15. FoundanIphone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2012
    Yeah. I am the manager. Also, the phone has already been here for a few days. I wasn't working the night/day when it turned up so I'm just now finding out about it. But I think the odds of the person just turning up are probably not all that great.

    I can't go through the menu because it is locked with a password. I assume it is probably fairly trivial to restore it to factory settings. But I would prefer not to throw away the potenital info on it unless I have a clear plan that I know won't need it.

    Is this something an average apple employee could do easily if they wanted to? I do know a few people who work at Apple stores, and at least one of them is an Apple Genius. If it is just a matter of getting them to trust me then I may be in luck.
  16. DJ.Nickk macrumors regular


    Sep 18, 2012

    Go to the Apple store every iphone bought is registered with the carrier tell them you found it at your Job and they will find and call the owner.

    Iv'e worked at my Apple Store for a while and this is the best step and easiest.
  17. rritterson macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2008
    DC USA
    A genius for sure can pull that info. Probably a firing offense if official policy is not to reveal customer info to other parties though. best bet is to simply turn the phone over to your friend and ask him/her to try an locate the owner rather than involve yourself in that process.
  18. Ice-Cube macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2006
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    The genius doesn't have to reveal any information..he could just retrieve the customer's info and try contacting him.
  19. bandofbrothers macrumors 601


    Oct 14, 2007
    One has got to assume the original owner has carried out what they can to recover their property and have moved on either by activating any insurance they may have had, or purchased another.

    What you do with this now is your own affair.

    Most would attempt to just recover it and adopt it as their own iPhone, or sell it on.

    Perhaps keep it in your office for a few weeks more just incase someone does show and then move on.
  20. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    What a lousy, selfish attitude.
  21. bandofbrothers macrumors 601


    Oct 14, 2007
    If your gonna quote me then use the whole post :rolleyes:

    And your suggestion would be to...........
  22. KeepCalmPeople macrumors 65816


    Sep 5, 2012
    San Francisco Bay Area, California
    I have a friend who misplaced her iPhone 4S 2 months ago, and is using her old 3GS now. She is still hoping her 4S will turn up under a car seat or something, or someone will return it to her, so she is not buying a new phone yet. Some people will hold out a long time.

    I don't think anyone can assume the owner has legally abandoned a lost item until the owner has explicitly said so.
  23. MadGoat macrumors 65816


    Jul 30, 2007

    How can it be in configuration mode and locked?
  24. Hawkeye16 macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2009
    what a lousy, selfish attitude.

    Props to the OP for actually DOING something to try and find the owner.
  25. KentuckyHouse macrumors 68020


    Jan 29, 2010
    Lexington, KY.
    IIRC, you can wipe a lost iPhone using Find My iPhone, right? At that point, you can also set up a pass code on the phone, rendering it useless to the thief (I believe). From the info the OP gave, that sounds like what's happened. The original owner realized the phone was gone, logged on to iCloud, wiped the phone and locked it.

    OP, I think the best advice given so far has been to suggest you take the phone to your closest Apple store, tell them the story, and ask if they can look up the owner's information and contact them for you. After that, there's no need for you to be involved or know any of the previous owner's information.

    I'd be shocked if the people at the Apple store can't do this for you and the owner. They should have a record of who the phone belongs to, when it was purchased and from where, and contact information. Let them do the heavy lifting.

    Oh, and good on ya for trying this hard to get the owner their phone back. That's some good karma right there. :D

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