Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Tale of A Stolen and Recovered iPhone 4

     Once upon o time there was an awesome iPhone 4 that sat gloriously with his rightful owner Ed. Until, one day the awesome owner had his phone stolen and Ed was sad. Cough* Bull-shit Cough*. Ok, ok let me get to the point here. First of let's start with the fact that I haven't posted anything in a while and that's because I've been very busy. Yes, college is hard hence the title of my blog.
     So here is my story of how I foolishly had my iPhone 4 stolen and through a very long and difficult process managed to get my love of my life (iPhone 4) back.
    PART 1:
     Anyways, it was during the summer of this year. I had decided to attend one of my college friend's parties at his friends house. Like always, I had decided to take my gorgeous and very stylish iPhone with me. Now here's a thing to note now. I always had a tracking app on my phone it's called phonehome, but i got it back without the app so don't leave yet. Back to the story. I was helping to bartend at the party and so I did. The party was going great, but quickly I noticed a lack of people dancing and a party starting to die off. So, I did the thing that any good friend would and took out my iPhone. I plugged my device into the stereo and off I went (Yes it was a really dumb mistake, but I had drank some so I was not thinking right). I was back at the bar chilling and thought to myself that if the music stopped than I should go back for my phone before anyone person could take it. Besides I was within sight of my phone and thought I was safe. THIS WAS MY SECOND MISTAKE. I decided to take a quick bathroom break and was too distracted to notice that music had stopped. When I left the bathroom, I still hadn't notice until I was talking to my friend. I quickly ran to the living room to retrieve my priced possession, but to my horror it was gone.
    PART 2:
     I panicked (Yes I called my phone many times) and started asking questions. Interrogating person after person. I got no lead and quickly ran upstairs to the computer. Using my glorious phone tracker (NOT) I tried to locate my phone, but guess what the moment when I required the app to work it didn't. Here is where I made my third biggest mistake. I texted whomever took my phone and threatened them that the police where on their way. So the person turned off the phone. The day after the party I was demoralized, but managed to get myself to at&t and tried to see if they could help. With no help I closed phone so that the jacker could get no freebies. I quickly left the store and went back home.
    PART 3: The Strategy
     At home is where I remembered something about IMEI and how it could be tracked. Quickly I scavenged through my drawer to find the box my iPhone 4 had come in when I bought it. The IMEI was on the back. With great joy I quickly dialed at&t customer service and asked the lady if they could track my phone. She told me "no" and I became heartbroken, BUT she did say that if someone registered my iPhone to them for a new contract. The IMEI (which had already been under my name) could be used to find out under which new name the phone was under. BINGO. I went to file the police report (has to be in same township police department where the theft took place) the same week and told them what the at&t rep had told them. They told me that If I ever got anymore info to come back and that they would have a detective on the case. Weeks went by, I now had been using a crappy LG Vu as a temporary and had given up hope. About a month after my phone was lost I had to go to at&t to pay the bill and that is when I remembered about the IMEI. I asked one of the costumer assistance reps to check if someone had registered my phone and to my luck someone did. Due to company policy they could not tell me who it was, only the police through a warrant could get the info. So  I went back to the police station gave them the new info that someone had registered my phone and that at&t couldn't tell me, but they could tell the police under a warrant. So, the police assigned me a detective (don't know why) nice guy too. He talked to me and I gave him the IMEI number and all my info. I even gave him my iPhone box to prove it was mine (He quickly returned it). He said he would get on the case as soon as he could and would report to my dad (Since I live at college and am about two hours away compared to 15 mins from my house). Weeks went by, he called me and told me that someone had in fact registered my phone and that he was in the process of getting the warrant.  Three weeks went by and I got a call from my dad that the detective had finally given him the iPhone 4, my iPhone had been retrieved.
    PART 4: The story of a victim
     As I was talking to my dad on the phone (obviously excited to have my phone back) I asked him what the detective had told him. This is were the story gets a little sad. Apparently, the asshole who stole my phone had sold my phone to some person (most likely craigslist and in the mall). This victim had activated the phone and was using it. The detective got his/her info through at&t and was able to retrieve my phone (since it was illegally sold stolen property). I can imagine this person must have paid a good amount and now had to hand over a phone that they now had grown accustomed to. Oh, heres another note. IF YOU EVER BUY AND IPHONE FROM CRAIGSLIST MAKE SURE YOU GET THE SELLERS INFO, AND ALSO MAKE SURE IT IS SOLD WITH THE BOX IT CAME WITH OR ELSE IT WAS STOLEN.
     PART 5: The Ending and lesson learned
After nearly three months of waiting, my iPhone 4 was returned to me on August 17th, 2011. It was a long and horrible ordeal, but am glad it's over. I hope this strategy helps you as much as it did me. To those of you who lost or had your iPhone stolen, I know how you feel and I wrote this post in an effort to try to help you find yours. If you are reading this for reading, I hope this will also serve as a tip and lesson on how to deal with something like this if it ever happens to you. If you have had a great iPhone story like mine or just feel like expressing your comments. Please do so.

This has been Ed Quito for My College Life is A Bitch. See you next week.


  1. hi, its krishna fr india, on 21 oct some picked my iphone3gs in bus while going for interview. it is unlocked phone, is there anyway i can track the iphone. More than a phone i had all the contacts which are more worthy than phone. Looking for any strategy to get back. Kindly mail me, Thanks in advance. krishna_1238@yahoo.co.in

  2. hi Krishna
    Get the phone on surveillance after filing the FIR in your local police station. If someone will get it activated (insert SIM) police will come to know.

    All the best

  3. Hey Krishna,
    Vickey is right. If you read my whole article I pretty much summed up a good method. It might take a while, but you can get your phone back. As far as you contacts, the only way to get them back is through another iphone. What you would do is plug it into itunes and restore from your phone's back up. If that doesn't work, check with your cell provider, they might be able to get you the contacts back. Wish you the best of luck, I know how it feels.

  4. Hi Ed
    This is Claire i lost my phone about a year ago, if i try what you did do you think it would still work?