Victim uses "Find My iPhone" to confront thief; did she get her phone back?

Victim uses
Imagine waking up on a Sunday morning, unable to find your Apple iPhone. Yeah, you might have downed a few too many drinks the night before, and your roommate's phone is also missing. But it doesn't explain why "Find My iPhone" shows your handset at a location 30 miles away from your apartment. This is the situation that Sarah Maguire found herself in.

What would you do? San Francisco D.A.George Gascón, who has been a strong proponent of adding a kill switch to smartphones, says that some have tracked down their stolen iPhone and have successfully retrieved it, while others ended up getting hurt. An off-duty officer and his son chased down the thief who stole the son's iPhone, but he had back-up with him. Another victim, Nadav Nirenberg, found that messages were being sent from a romance chatline by someone using his stolen iPhone. So he pretended to be a female named Jenifer, made a date with the thief, confronted him and got his handset back.
 

So what did Sarah Maguire do? She first called the cops who told her to approach the location where her phone was located, and to call 911 if she felt threatened. After mulling the situation over in her mind for hours, and investigating the type of neighborhood she was heading into (a quiet residential area) she decided to to make the trip.

When she arrived, she knocked on the door and confronted a 30-year old man. After Maguire asked for the return of her phone, she explained how a GPS signal led her to his house. He went back inside and returned with the phone. After some more accusatory talk, he went back in to his house and returned with the phone belonging to Maguire's roommate. Still a little fearful, she ran back to her parked car and drove away.

Again, we ask you, what would you have done?

source: NYTimes

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48 Comments

1. Sauce unregistered

One great use of having my iPhone is this: When a theft is attempted, and the thief "turns off" my phone, the phone will have a dummy shut down slider, and the phone will appear to shut down. Internally, the vibrator, sound, and other services that can "ruin" this are disabled, while the phone sends you an email, or a text to a secondary phone (my Note) of its location every x minutes. When the thief "turns" my phone back on, and attempts to wipe it or unlock it, it will take a picture of his face and will also send that to me, along with his exact location. Of course, there are more features that are included, but that is for a different story. There are also gestures (using Touch ID) to actually turn the phone off, which require my fingerprint).

2. magnanimus

Posts: 565; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

1. You actually need Jailbreeak to do this. 2. Not exclusive to iPhone. (better features included)

5. Sauce unregistered

My phone has ten fold better security then yours does though :)

9. ErenJaeger

Posts: 119; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

Sounds like a child bragging about his new toy.

17. Sauce unregistered

New toy? I've been doing this since the OG iPhone, and front snaps since the 3Gs :) Only had to use it once (iPhone 4s), tracked the dude down by looking for his face at an outdoor music festival. Found him and texted my phone telling him that I see him. Minutes later, picked my unharmed phone up in a field next door lololol. By the looks of these replies, it seems people are envious or ashamed of being ignorant of what iPhones can do, and decided to comment negativity. Just sharing my enjoyment. No need for the haters to come in and be all grumpy hehe :)

28. quakan

Posts: 1418; Member since: Mar 02, 2011

"Front snaps since the the 3GS" even though the iPhone didn't include a front-facing camera until the iPhone 4.

38. AJagtiani

Posts: 466; Member since: Apr 24, 2014

You destroyed Sauce with this comment. :D

44. Sauce unregistered

Do you research. You must have forgotten how easy it was to open a 3gs. There were kits. But ill leave the rest to you.

48. AJagtiani

Posts: 466; Member since: Apr 24, 2014

There's no way one can open a phone and add a front cam. We know you love Apple and its iToys. Enough of the BS now.

29. ErenJaeger

Posts: 119; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

I already know that both iphones and androids, both new and old, have great potential to do anything. the other guy was simply trying to mention that iphones arent the only ones with security capabilities. "My phone has ten fold better security then yours does though :)" was totally unnecessary. Thats like saying "My daddy makes 10x more money than your daddy." You have no idea if what youre saying is true and no one really likes a boastful liar.

32. Ashoaib

Posts: 3243; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

True... he sounds like bragging about his phone... probably, he is a teenager... usually kids used to talk like this, the wonderfulness of things they have or do... their stuff is 10x better then others regarless of knowing what others have...

33. The13thKing

Posts: 849; Member since: Feb 26, 2014

Lol man i had a 3GS once and it didnt have a front snapper. Hahaha cool strory though.

37. AJagtiani

Posts: 466; Member since: Apr 24, 2014

BUURRNNN!!

10. magnanimus

Posts: 565; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

No worries. I might not have the fancy dummy shut down screen but as soon as the sim is removed or changed, my phone enters a lock mode that writes my alternative phone number to call on the screen and if the person tries to unlock it the phone takes a picture and sends it to my email. I also receive the persons new number and if my GPS is on I can track the phone or the last seen location.Good enough for me

35. superfans

Posts: 155; Member since: Jul 30, 2012

What jailbreak apps did u use ?

41. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

So tell me, Sauce, which statement sounds less like an entitled douchebag waving around his faux status symbol in our faces: "One great use of having my smartphone is this" or "One great use of having my iPhone is this" Responding to the point that the app or one like it isn't an iPhone exclusive with "my phone has ten fold better security than yours does though" is also ludicrously childish, since Google actually has developed great security around Android which customers have to actively circumvent in order to become vulnerable.

45. Sauce unregistered

You all seem so upset that I mentioned iPhone. I just brought out all your true colors LOL. Oh the joy in seeing people not being able to see the word iPhone in a good story

47. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

You showed your true colors when you made sure everyone knew that it was your IPHONE that had the special app. Don't worry, it's really quite a common issue among IPHONE owners. They look for any reason they can to specifically mention their IPHONES.

43. Scott93274

Posts: 6021; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

My phone has 100x better security than what you've just described. It's called a severe butt kicking if someone even attempts to jack my phone. It must suck to always live in fear of people stealing your property.

3. lektriczzz

Posts: 15; Member since: Aug 08, 2013

I would go to said persons house and start pumping lead through his door until I got answers.

6. jellmoo

Posts: 2524; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

You would go to a private residence and start shooting through a door, potentially killing any number of people (from the elderly to infants) over a stolen phone? No. You wouldn't.

12. Phullofphil

Posts: 1732; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

You ever here of sarcasm

18. Finalflash

Posts: 4061; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

I believe the words you are looking for are "hear" and "hyperbole".

30. Jkennedy

Posts: 9; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

It's nice to see something shiny among the sea of ignorance in the PA comments. good job Mr. Flash.

39. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5473; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Nice, considering GPS accuracy is 10 to 50 feet. You might have shot the wrong person ;)

4. Adirr

Posts: 1; Member since: May 04, 2014

I recommend that Apple will make a picture of the thief including the exact location and more and will send a photo by email and will replace some improvement device Find My iPhone... Best software Apple should upgrade and improve it in a new version.

7. Sauce unregistered

Do you think this could be against legal rights, even though the thief is committing a crime, sadly? Im unsure since it is a case of theft.

8. iphoneman37

Posts: 52; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

I agree they should upgrade this feature more.

11. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013

In my case they would feel pretty stupid when they find out they screwed with wrong person.

13. Sauce unregistered

Just hunt them down, shove a 3 inch thick pipe down their mouth, and pour acid into their throat.. If you're wanting to teach them a real lesson, chop off all their fingers. ALL TEN! They'll never steal again :)

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