iPhone 5 stolen, got an email from finder

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by KoolAid-Drink, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. KoolAid-Drink macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Location:
    California
    #1
    Hello,

    Sorry, I don't know how to deal with this situation. As posted on another thread, my iPhone 5 was stolen, and I had this reported to the local cops/detective. I have been in touch with the detective, but no luck so far.

    Tonight, I got an email from someone randomly who said he had my iPhone and he wanted me to pay him back for the device. What should I do? I have emailed the detective, but no reply because it's, of course, Friday night! What if this is time-sensitive? I really want my phone back, even if I have upgraded to the 5s, so I could sell it and recoup the costs of upgrading to the 5s.

    I have no idea what to do. Call 911? That seems so silly, especially over a relatively small thing, but I was told to call 911 if I saw the thieves. I didn't see the thieves, but what if the emailer IS the thief? What if I don't reply to the email and he destroys my iPhone? My friends suggested me to not reply and to instead, contact the cops/detective first.

    HELP! I have NO idea what to do! This is a completely new situation to me.
     
  2. I7guy macrumors G5

    Joined:
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    What Exit?/Saguaro Country
    #2
    Don't call 911, you'll get ticketed and/or fined. This is not an emergency.

    This sounds like ransom and I would wait for the detectives to call back. You could get hurt or worse. Phone is not worth your life. Especially if it's been out of your hands you don't know what has been done to it.
     
  3. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #3
    Did you have Find My iPhone and location services turned on? If so, you should track it and get the location.

    In any case, you can probably find the non emergency number for the police department you filed the report with and call it. Give the dispatcher your case number and tell him/her that a person has contacted you claiming to have your stolen property and demanding money for it. If you have that location info, give that to the dispatcher as well. They'll make a determinations as to what they want to do then.

    Unless your police department is pretty bad, they'll likely send a patrol unit out to make contact with the person who says they have the phone (they might ask you to make arrangements to meet up with them a certain spot, but the cops will show up at the agreed-on place and time instead of you). If he shows, the cops will then probably ask this person some very pointed questions. They may or may not take that person in depending on how they answer.

    You might not get your phone back right away, but it'll probably be held as evidence for the detective so they can complete the investigation, after which they'll return it to you.

    Again, this all assumes your police department is worth their salt. Some unfortunately aren't spending any time bothering with iPhone thefts (I learned this the hard way myself). But the fact that you have a detective assigned to your case is promising.
     
  4. PsstGreek macrumors 68040

    PsstGreek

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    #4
    First, I wouldn't pay some scumbag to get my phone bag. I would wait until the detective gets back in touch with you and go from there.
     
  5. jamezr macrumors G3

    jamezr

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    US
    #5
    Call the police…not 911. Give them the detectives name and your case number. tell what is going on and what you should do….don;t do anything on your own with the police.
    Good luck! Hope you get your phone back…..
     
  6. hummus macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    #6
    Just wait to see what the detective has to say. Don't reply to the email.
     
  7. itjw macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    #7
    Set up a meet with the help of police. Then explain you'll gladly not press charges as "payment" if you get your phone back.

    Then do it anyway.

    USA!
     
  8. mentaluproar macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #8
    It's an iphone, not your first born. I find it ridiculous that someone would hold your phone for ransom. Are you sure a friend isn't playing a prank on you?

    As for the suggestion that you use find my iPhone, why haven't you used that? You could give the location to the cops and tell them to fetch it. Easy collar.
     
  9. KoolAid-Drink thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Location:
    California
    #9
    A few clarifications:

    a) Find my iPhone was already setup. Offline since Tuesday night. Lost Mode/Play a Sound pending.

    b) I'm afraid if I let this go and don't reply for too long, said person will just destroy my iPhone or throw it away...hence I won't get it back.

    c) Here's what the email looked like - see attached images.

    What do you think? I've called the police, they say detectives aren't due to come in until 11:30pm, but I wasn't clear whether or not it was 11:30am or 11:30pm, so let's see. I also got disconnected too (calling via relay). Sigh. This whole situation is so confusing.

     

    Attached Files:

  10. mentaluproar macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #10
    It doesn't sound like he intended to steal your phone. He just sounds slimy.
     
  11. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #11
    Seems pretty clear that the person who has your phone knows it's stolen, but wants you to pay to get it back anyway. Whether they actually stole the phone or bought as as they claim is impossible to know for sure.

    In any case, they're trying to scam you, and you shouldn't e-mailed them until a detective tells you what to do. Tempting as it may to contact them, who knows what could happen if you go it alone.
     
  12. KoolAid-Drink thread starter macrumors 65816

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    California
    #12
    My iPhone WAS snatched out of my hands, literally, on Tuesday night - two men ran off with the phone in hand, running away.

     
  13. jamezr macrumors G3

    jamezr

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    US
    #13
    He could be involved….but now with IOS 7 he can't activate it since it is locked by you. Or he could be telling the truth…he could have bought then realized it was stolen and belongs to you. But still he is in possession of stolen property and he knows it. It is still against the law to be in possession of stolen goods…..
     
  14. mentaluproar macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #14
    Wasn't there a case a few years ago where someone tried to buy back a stolen iPad in a walmart parking lot and they ended up getting robbed and the **** kicked out of them? I remember reading that years ago.
     
  15. KoolAid-Drink thread starter macrumors 65816

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    California
    #15
    What makes me nervous is, this may be time-sensitive. If said person doesn't get a reply from me within a certain amount of time, he may assume I have ignored his email and, instead, decide to throw it away or sell it again, or whatever... that's why I'm concerned, and a bit annoyed no reply from the detective (altho it's not his fault, probably a sucky factor of it being Friday night)... I want my damn phone back. That's what is making me so restless.

    I've been through a lot of hassle with AT&T this week alone. Ugh.

    Edit; and, no, I haven't contacted said person yet. My iPhone on Find my iPhone is still offline.
     
  16. mentaluproar macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #16
    AT&T is not going to help you. They have every reason not to. If you don't get it back, you have to buy a new phone.

    As for it being time sensitive, it is unlikely they will destroy the phone. Its an expensive item and if you don't buy your own phone, someone else will.

    Right now, it is a beacon to the thief. Anyone stupid enough to do this clearly doesn't understand that the owner can track them. You have the advantage, not them.

    Assuming you used a password and your phone was locked, you can remotely keep it that way. At some point, it will be turned on and locked again. While it is technically possible to prevent it from discovering it should lock down, this doesn't seem like a clever person. Just sit and wait for them to take the bait.
     
  17. x-evil-x macrumors 68030

    x-evil-x

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    #17
    Setup a meeting with him and bring a cop along. Waiting in a car of course.
     
  18. TB07-NJ macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Location:
    US of A
    #18
    Why not contact the guy and ask him how much he wants. Then when he replies just put him off a bit so he doesn't get rid of it. Tell him you're trying to gather the money. Don't do anything further until the police call you back. This way you'll keep him interested (assuming he's not reading this thread!).
     
  19. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #19
    Uh what? You can always call 911 and let them know it is not an emergency, if that is the case; they will forward your call to the local authorities. There are numerous times when I do not know the local PS number and have asked to be rerouted (situation warranted). Of course, it doesn't mean that you should abuse the system (like this case it isn't really important) but in general one should call 911 should the issue be important or at all life related. Just saying.
     
  20. KoolAid-Drink thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Update - I called the police department again, asked to be transferred to the detective department, as they opened 11:30pm. Explained I was transferred earlier, but got disconnected as there was nobody there, so the dispatcher transferred me to 911. Of course, I felt this was unnecessary, so I explained to the 911 dispatcher that I was just trying to reach a detective who could check to see if the assigned detective was there.

    Once finally transferred, I found out that my detective was expected in tonight, but didn't show up, so the next time he was going to be in the office was Tuesday night! Way too far away. So, I asked if they could assign someone else to the case (especially as I got such an email saying they had my stolen device!), and he said certain detectives handles certain cases. Translation: nothing I can do for you.

    I was also told not to respond to the email, and instead, just to save it.

    Ugh! What should I do next?
     
  21. mentaluproar macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #21
    I would suggest you calm down and do exactly that.
     
  22. I7guy macrumors G5

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    Nov 30, 2013
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    What Exit?/Saguaro Country
    #22
    Huh what? It's against the law to call 911 in non emergencies. They are not a referral service. It's one thing to get transferred there, it's another to take up the time of an operator who could be handling an emergency.
     
  23. scaredpoet, Feb 21, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014

    scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #23
    Exactly what you've been told to do: wait for the detective. Yeah, it's sucky that he won't be in till Tuesday, but going it alone and trying to get your phone back on your own could land you in worse shape (like getting mugged by the e-mail sender and getting your replacement iPhone stolen too), AND annoy the police for ruining their investigation. If you think the police are dragging their feet now, imagine how it's gonna be when you give them a reason not to like you very much?

    The promising thing is that e-mails are traceable. There's a good chance the thief (or shady buyer) sent it from an IP address that will link up to him pretty easily, either his home or a friend's place. So not all is lost just yet. Clearly he wants a reply, so the e-mail address should be legitimate, and identifiable with the right amount of investigative work.

    In any case, you already have a replacement phone, and are no worse off than you were before you got the e-mail.
     
  24. KoolAid-Drink, Feb 21, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014

    KoolAid-Drink thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
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    California
    #24
    I agree. It's just that I'm on a low budget as it is, and it would be nice to get the phone back so I can re-sell it (on Glyde, etc) and be able to recoup the costs incurred from upgrading to the 5s. If not, it's not the end of the world, but it'd still be nice to get some money back.

    And, what if the emails were sent from a Starbucks?

     
  25. rablat macrumors 6502a

    rablat

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    Oct 8, 2007
    Location:
    Classified NSA intel
    #25
    Oh my god man wait until you hear from the detective.
    Can no one these days make any kind of a decision? Everything has to be hashed out on the internet. Good lord grow a pair and wait. Chances are you are not going to get the iPhone back move on. If you needed the other phone to actually be able to afford the new one, you shouldn't have bought it.
     

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