Why do people report "Stolen" phone to police?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by YungMoola94, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. YungMoola94 macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2010
    I've always been wondering why people who get their phones "stolen" report it to the police. What exactly can they do if you didn't see the thief? Do they have some kind of special database to find the thief?

    Also I quoted Stolen because for some reason people who leave their phone behind think someone stole it. It wasn't STOLEN unless the thief snatched it from your hand or you were deceived.

    Seems to me people are just waiting cops time when they could be fighting a REAL crime.
  2. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
    Slow day down your end? If I leave my phone somewhere and somebody else takes it for himself, he stole it. End of.
  3. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Wow, really?
    You need someone to explain to you why people report stolen items to the police?
    And if someone takes possession of property that don't belong to them its a crime. No finders keepers laws bud. You're supposed to return it to its rightful owner.
  4. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    When you lose something like an iPhone, someone probably picked it up. That someone doesn't have the right to just keep it or sell it. "Finders keepers" isn't a thing in the real world.

    People have gotten their phones back having reported it stolen. One way this might be is a good Samaritan turns the phone into the police. If I found a phone and there was no contact info, the police station is about the best place I would think to leave it.
  5. nostresshere macrumors 68030

    Dec 30, 2010
    Insurance often wants a copy of the police report.
  6. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    Most insurance companies require that a police report is filed before they'll accept a claim for a stolen item.

    Incorrect. Stealing is taking something that doesn't belong to you. It doesn't matter if it is an iPhone in a purse, sitting on an empty table, or an iPhone in someone's hand.

    Theft is a real crime.
  7. jekjones1558 macrumors 6502

    Sep 27, 2010
    Filing a police report can also be part of some insurance claims.
  8. I7guy macrumors P6


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
    Whether it's lost or stolen I want a police report for insurance purposes.

    In addition stolen iPhone is real crime.
  9. Mr. Buzzcut, Nov 2, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2014

    Mr. Buzzcut macrumors 65816

    Mr. Buzzcut

    Jul 25, 2011
  10. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    I've seen a few instances where someone left it behind and successfully recovered it because the person who found it answered the call. However, if the other end refuses to provide a means of getting it back and keeps it for himself/herself that's akin to having your iPhone stolen.
  11. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    This would be the only reason I would file a police report.
  12. Ryxmd macrumors regular

    Oct 2, 2014
    The Police here actually do use Find My iPhone to track down stolen iPhones.
  13. Vundu macrumors 65816


    Jun 10, 2009
    Manchester, UK
    For insurance purposes and because you are supposed to!

    Police in the UK will send someone to check surveillance camera footage if there is any.

    Hope you never get anything stolen with an attitude like that.
  14. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    Among other things police may investigate if several thefts are reported in a given area. Where I'm from it's less phones being left behind and more car break-ins. If a certain neighborhood has a series of them, the police may actually come out and investigate and possibly recover the stolen property.
  15. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    That "special database" is called Find My iPhone. And if a police department is properly motivated, yes, they can and will use it to find a thief.

    [snipped out the part about the definition of "stolen." Lot of people already pointed out correctly that the OP has it all wrong.]

    The NYPD seems to think that smartphone thefts ARE a real crime - both your definition of "stolen" (where someone is assaulted/deceived and the phone is snatched) and everyone else's definition (that plus any other instance of taking what's not yours). Enough that they track statistics on the crime, investigate such crimes across precincts and recover stolen iPhones, AND encouraged people to update their OS when Activation lock debuted. And they attributed Activation Lock with a reduction in this "real crime," unfortunately at the expense of Android users who are now seeing more thefts (because they currently lack a similar feature.

    So yeah, it's a thing.

    Granted, not every police department is enthusiastic about investigating iPhone thefts. I've experienced first hand that a lot of suburban police departments don't care and don't want to get involved, even if you have a good fix on where the missing iPhone is located. Frankly, those police departments are more concerned about not reporting such crimes so their statistics don't go up, rather than actually working at reducing real crime. But ignoring the problem doesn't make it any less "real."
  16. TigerMSTR macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2014
    At the very least they can use it to track theft metrics. At best they find the device. There's nothing to lose by reporting.
  17. Zxxv macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2011
    Because when a person is arrested all of the items on them at the time are taken and logged. If the serial number runs up against one that is stolen the person is also charged of being in receipt of stolen goods, and the item returned to its rightful owner.
  18. PSB136 macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2014
    They can do the same thing as when a $1000 diamond ring is stolen. Whether it's a $1000 ring or $1000 phone, it's stolen property and must be investigated.
  19. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    You don't seem to realise that any insurance claim requires that you report the theft to the police and get a crime number.
  20. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 603


    Jan 17, 2013
    Wales, United Kingdom
    Indeed, it has to go through that route. The police won't waste their time with a stolen phone much like they don't bother looking for stolen cars but this is what insurers need to process a claim.

    Its much better tracking a turned on stolen phone on 'Find my iPhone' and visiting the person who has nicked it lol.
  21. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I usually report any theft to the police, especially since I choose to claim it on my insurance. They typically require a police copy.
  22. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    They actually don't bother to investigate if the value is too low. A report might be all you get.
  23. hers macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2014
    They can also get a block put on the phone. Rayner
  24. tron786 macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2014
    Wait till OP "loses" his phone. Then he will feel the pain even though no one snatched it from his hand directly.
  25. *KID* macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2014
    Boston, MA
    This for sure. And hey - That's their job - to help with ANY crime. Doesn't have to be a murder for you to file a police report. And trust me, their time is being wasted every day by people who report things that aren't even a crime at all.

    All crime is a REAL crime. Theft is theft.

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