Thursday, July 12, 2012

the story of a stolen iphone

Okay, so like I said before, this story isn't really all that important to me anymore, but since I said I'd share the story of how my phone was stolen, who stole it and how we know and yet can't get it back, here you go.  I wanted to wait to post the details while we exhausted our options because of the very slight possibility that the guy who had/has my phone might find my blog through my phone.

Anyway, here's what happened:

Around lunch time on June 16, there were several families shopping our garage sale.  There was one person who stood out to me for some reason.  He just didn't fit the description of the other men who had visited our sale over the weekend.  I remember mentally chastising myself for making a snap judgement about him based on what he was wearing, his tattoos, his haircut, etc.  (As it turns out, he totally deserved my snap judgement!)  He and his wife looked around a bit and then he asked about the popsicles we were selling.  He said he wanted four so I went to grab them from the deep freeze in our garage.  I asked what flavor he wanted and he said it didn't matter.  I remember thinking he seemed like he was in a hurry to leave, but I chalked it up to the fact that his son was throwing a fit at the time.  

Soon after he left, I noticed my phone missing.  Eric called it and it had been turned off.  I had just checked the time on it a few minutes earlier so I knew it was on.  We frantically searched the tables, inside the house, called it over and over again, but we just had this feeling that it had been stolen.  When we talked it through, we both felt like the most likely scenario was that the guy had asked about the popsicles to distract me and snatched it when I went to grab them from the freezer.  

Eric was able to turn on a family locator service that our provider has so that you can track phones on your family plan, but it only works if the phone is turned on, which it wasn't.  We had our provider put the phone on lockdown so that whoever had it wouldn't be able to use the internet or phone/text capabilities, but we could still track it if it was turned on.  Then we filed a police report.  We checked the tracker vigilantly and eventually, around 11:00pm it came on.  In Kansas City, KS.  There was our proof that it had been stolen.  But the locator was only giving us a general location with an accuracy of a mile radius.

We called the police to update the report, confirming that it was stolen and somewhere in Kansas City, Kansas but they told us that unless they had an exact address they couldn't just go banging on everyone's door asking about a stolen phone.  So we just watched that little blue circle pulse on the map, knowing that the thief was holding my phone, checking it out, looking through it.  It was this strange emotion of satisfaction, knowing where it was and that it had been stolen, but also fear and frustration - I hated the idea of him perhaps looking at pictures of Lila, reading my text messages and emails.  I wracked my brain to remember what information might be on there that I wouldn't want to be in the wrong hands.  Finally, the tracker wasn't able to locate the phone anymore which meant it had been turned off again.

The next morning, Eric checked the tracker again and the phone was back on, but this time with a more exact location.  In fact, it gave him an address.  Eric called the police and they said they would meet him at the house.  A woman came to the door and the police told her they were investigating an iPhone stolen in Overland Park.  She said, "We were garage saleing in Overland Park yesterday, but I don't know anything about an iPhone."  She went inside to ask her husband.  When she came back out, her story had conveniently changed, "Actually, we never made it to Overland Park."  Right.  Too bad for her, she had some unrelated outstanding warrants so the police arrested her for those warrants.  Then the husband came to the door and guess who it was.  Popsicle guy.

I know.  I know!  Eric sent me this email (because, remember I didn't have a phone):

So at that point, I thought, I'm getting my phone back!!!!!!  

But I was wrong.  The guy wouldn't fess up and when Eric called the phone, they couldn't hear it ring.  But as soon as they left, the phone was turned off.  Interesting, right?  But the officers said that they couldn't get a search warrant for something as small as an iPhone even though they, too were "sure it's in there."   Oh, and the kicker was that at one point the woman said, "We don't know anything about a pink iPhone."  Except that Eric hadn't even told the police that there was a pink case on my phone - only that it was a white iPhone.  So the evidence is that of all the houses in the KC metro area, the tracker for my phone indicated that house and the woman who answered the door admitted to garage saleing in Overland Park and knew my phone was in a pink case, AND her husband was the guy we suspected all along.  

So we know who stole it, when he stole it, how he stole it and where he lives, but we can't do anything about it.  And that, my friends is INFURIATING if I let myself go there.  The whole situation totally offends my sense of justice.

We did send the guy a letter along with a prepaid envelope asking him to please just mail it back to us, but no dice.  Either he got rid of it once he figured out that we knew who and where he was, or he's waiting us out to try to sell it.  We assume he figured out that having it on was a bad idea and as of the last time we checked, it hadn't been on since the police paid him a visit and his wife was thrown in jail for the night.  There's still a small part of me that hopes I'll get it back some day.  My sister and her hubby had their computers stolen a few years ago and the police miraculously recovered them months and months later when they turned up at a pawn shop in what Jess called, "hilarious condition."  I'm not really sure what that means, but if my phone ever ended up back in my hands, my mind could rest at ease knowing some some dude in KCK wasn't holding onto my personal information and photos.  I might even find it hilarious.

So, there you have it.  The case of the stolen iPhone.  Solved if not resolved.  The End doesn't quite seem appropriate since, as you'll remember, the story isn't over.  I think we should go with the hopeful to be continued...

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