The Definitive Guide to Recovering Your Stolen Iphone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ephailey, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. ephailey macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #1
    Have had three iphones stolen this year. With my five kids, we own seven total. My kids had a phone stolen in Switzerland and Baton Rouge. They way they handled trying to recover the phones was not what I would have suggested. My wife's was stolen this past Sunday night. Had 500+ pictures on it (she does not backup) many of them candid shots at our daughter's wedding.

    I got the phone back!! Here are my definitive steps on getting your phone back. The first steps are pretty basic but wanted to make sure nothing was left unsaid.

    1. Make sure you have loaded FindMyIphone. Make sure you have checked it out in advance.

    2. When your phone is missing, obviously go to another iphone or a computer and check location. If the phone is on, you can find an exact location. If you are close to the phone, you can send a loud tone, even if the phone is on vibrate.

    3. If the phone is off, tell the app you want to be notified by email and text when it is found. In my case, the phone had been powered off, the first indication it was stolen and not lost. During the one minute the thief powered the phone on to put it in "airplane" mode so it would not send out a signal, my app locked in and gave me the location.

    4. If you have a location, print off the map showing the location. You can just save on your other phone or computer. In my case, I printed the location in large and small scale. I also went to satellite view and printed two pictures of the house.

    5. I tried the police first. Always the best best. They will many times (so I am told) help. In my case it was 11 p.m. and the police wanted to handle this in a several day process. That may be OK sometime but I thought my chances would go down with passing days plus I was 100% sure the pictures would be gone if I waited a few days.

    6. I drove to the house where the phone had been. I did NOT accuse them of anything. I very apologetically said that my wife had "lost" her iphone with some valuable (to her) pictures on it and I hoped someone there had "found" it. I had my pictures and maps of their house in hand and said that the GPS said the phone was there and I hoped someone there had "found" it. The first guy said he did not know anything about a phone. I again apologetically said that there were other people in his house, I was hoping someone had found my lost iphone, I would be appreciative if they did and that the GPS (pictures in hand) said it had been there. He went inside and another guy came out and said he had in fact found a phone earlier. He got keys, went out to a locked car in the side yard and gave it to me. My wife's phone.

    If I had accused them of stealing, they would have resisted. With me holding the pictures and maps, and giving them an "out" (they "found" the phone), they felt their best option was to give it up.

    7. You might say I was just lucky, but when I left home at 11 p.m., I was confident I would recover the phone.

    8. Obviously the police should always be an option but in my case it would have take several days and even then my fear was that the phone would be long gone and the culprit would have not choice but to deny everything. The GPS maps would help but could have been for anyone in the house or even someone driving nearby.

    9. By the way, I'm not an iCloud fan and have had problems with the data sync'ing on my iPhone. I do use it for pictures only and have now put my wife on iCloud for picture sync'ing also.

    10. Apple could help control theft if they would. These phones have a high value and are a big temptation. If they set up a lost/stolen phone registry and coordinated with iTunes and carriers ATT, Verizon, etc), thieves would be limited as to what they could do with the phone.

    11. The most important point to this thread is to visit the people with the phone in a non confrontational manner.
     
  2. AFDoc macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado Springs USA for now
    #2
    Sorry but your advice to confront the people that stole your phone is the dumbest thing you could ever do. You don't know this person and they are just as likely to stick a knife in your gut as to give you back a phone they stole. Is your life worth an iPhone?
     
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #3
    Exactly. This so-called definitive guide is a recipe for disaster.
     
  4. abhinav7333 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    #4
    That's why you get a concealed weapon permit. Stop being pussies. When seconds count, police is only minutes away.
     
  5. ephailey thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #5


    Thanks for the support. I obviously agree. I expected to get comments like the two prior comments. They are missing the point that I was totally non confrontational. I'll bet I could recover that phone in 8 of 10 cases and the other two I would walk away without the phone but without having accused anyone of anything.

    This may not be for everyone but to say it is a recipe for disaster is missing the whole point.
     
  6. tymaster50 macrumors 68030

    tymaster50

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey
  7. Virgo macrumors 6502

    Virgo

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #7
    Too bad this doesn't work in a city like NYC where the pinpoint will be in a huge apartment building rather than a single family home (happened to me).
     
  8. AbyssImpact macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    #8
    Basically this thread suggest that if you steal someone's iPhone, drive by a house when turning on the phone and putting it in airplane mode.
     
  9. itjw macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    #9
    Next post: "The Definitive Guide to Recovering from a Gunshot Wound"

    If you really want to get the cops involved, call pretending to be a neighbor complaining about screaming and loud music coming from the house in question.

    When the cops show up to investigate, act surprised to see them and say "hey, while you're here could you help me with something...".

    Problem solved :). Or maybe not.

    At least you'll live!
     
  10. AbyssImpact macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 6, 2010
    #10
    What if the cops shoot you for lying to them?
     
  11. Sheik Yiboudi macrumors member

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    Sep 26, 2012
    Location:
    39.7589° N, 84.1917° W
    #11
    Not if you're faster on that hairpin trigger. Man up and carry.
     
  12. vipJj123 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2012
    #12
    3 iPhones stolen in one year? First step might be to keep a better eye on personal items and/or get different friends.
     
  13. ephailey thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #13

    1. Son studying abroad using his iphone to play tunes on the PA system at his apartment building. Someone walked off with it.

    2. Son at LSU, had out on steps of Union Building. Left it there temporarily. It walked off. Careless.

    3. Wife left hers on table at restaurant. This is the one I went and recovered.

    BTW, I won't bother giving advise in the future to people on this board. People seem to miss the fact that i was totally non confrontational. I'm confident I could make this work the majority of the time. If people think somehow I was subject to getting a bullet in my head, I can't help how they think. I got my phone back. I'll do it again if I need to.
     
  14. AFDoc, Oct 17, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012

    AFDoc macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado Springs USA for now
    #14
    Lol..... You're one of those.

    I do have my CCW and people such as yourself (if you really have it) are the exact problem with CCW. I know here in Colorado all you have to do is take a class and you can apply for your permit. All that process does is ensure you have no criminal history though CBI. If that's all clear in the mail is sent your card. The majority of average Joe CCW does NOTHING to become competent with the actual use of that conceled weapon.

    Let me guess....You would of stopped the shooter in Aurora :rolleyes: Internet is full of vigilantes that would of stopped him. Let's say there were some CCW's in the room that night, how many more bodies would there of been? To properly use a conceled weapon takes hours of practice to ensure the muscle memory it takes to properly pull your weapon, take proper aim and fire rounds down range, especially under duress.

    Please, no one listen to this guy either. Let the police do the policing. IF you want to arm yourself by all means do so but ensure you take the proper time to train yourself to properly utilize the awesome responsibility that is carrying a conceled weapon.

    I think your naivety is cool.... I however have seen things that simply don't allow me to be that way. How non-confrontational you are/were has NOTHING to do with it. You are right though, it will probably work most of the time. It's that one time that isn't like most of the other times that you need to worry about. You never know who you're dealing with. Some people will cut you for looking at them wrong, try going up and "nonconfrontationally" ask them if they have your phone. Glad you got your phone back and didn't get an ice pick to the liver.
     
  15. tymaster50 macrumors 68030

    tymaster50

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    Oct 3, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #15
    TC if you were in the hood... well let's not talk about that.
     
  16. propalitet macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    #16
    Good one, depending where you live. Try this in Detroit. And please don't ever go alone again, take a buddy or two with you.
     
  17. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #17
    I think if you are going to take the chance and go to the person's house, you did the right thing. I personally would not do it though....waaaayyyy to risky.
     
  18. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #18
    Cops don't shoot innocent people.


    Oh wait.
     
  19. Deako macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #19
    Jeeez. You can tell all the guys that live in the USA. Guns are bad full stop and nobody should feel the need to carry one because of "the holy amendment".

    Well done OP for recovering the phone. Id also do this in most areas of the UK. 9.5 out of 10 its going to be some youth that thinks they got lucky.
     
  20. kmichalec macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    #20
    And we'll mourn your loss when we hear about the news story where your next "non confrontational approach" turned horribly wrong. You think you could recover it 8 out 10 times? I'd be willing to bet if you tried that here in Detroit, 8 out 10 times, your family would never see you again. This is the worst advice I think I've heard on this forum, and it is irresponsible to suggest that someone else tries this.

    I think you've watched the Liam Neeson move Taken, one to many times. Except, in this case, it's not your daughter but your iPhone you go on a mission to get back.

    Please, everyone else with a shred of common sense, don't try this yourself...
     
  21. tymaster50 macrumors 68030

    tymaster50

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #21
    TC you know why everyone is ragging on you right? You had one case of going to someones house, they didn't wanna give you the phone back but you insisted and they probably figured you for the guy that wouldn't stop until you get what you want so they said it was in the car which was also a lie, most people would have said no and closed the door, and in most areas you will probably get into an altercation. For anywhere that isn't the US this might be plausible advice.
     
  22. KandyKane macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #22
    I would say that they're all careless TBH
     
  23. Martog macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    #23
    And the morale of the story is, make sure iCloud backup and photo stream is turned on, seen way to many people who are in desperate need of their pictures and did not use iCloud in any way.
     
  24. nostresshere macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    #24
    thank you for sharing. Some good information here.

    Though the discussion about confronting a "thief" may have some value, I think the tone of some posters are off base.

    That aside - the more important hint here is #1 - check out the "FindMyIphone" in advance so you know it works and you know how to use it.

    do it right now
     

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