Tracked a thief to his house using Find my iPhone! I got my phone back!
So earlier today I was heading back from my parents house after a long and indulgent Christmas. My Uber dropped me off at the station pretty late so I ran through the station with my bags to catch my train. Only once I was on the train I realised my phone was gone. I figured it had fallen out of my pocket in the rush or someone had swiped it out my pocket.
I went through the unusual repertoire. Got my boyfriend to try calling – it had been switched off. Went back to the station to see if anyone had handed it in: no dice. Filed a missing item report. Tried Find My iPhone: it was offline. Put a message on my phone saying it had been lost and where they could reach me. Went home to block my phone.
Over the next few hours I kept calling my phone, to no avail. I’d given up and had started looking up new phone deals online when all of a sudden I got a dial tone. Nobody picked up but I SPRINTED to my laptop to run Find My iPhone. Bingo! It tracked them to an address less than a mile from the station where it went missing. Less than 30 seconds later it went offline again- they’d switched it back off.
Next I called the non emergency police line.
Me: “So uh… someone’s taken my phone and I know where they are. I got the address from Find My iPhone. Can you send someone round there?”
Lady: “Oh no, we don’t do that. You shouldn’t go there either as it could be dangerous. Would you like to report it lost or stolen?”
That’s what 9 years of Tory cuts will do to a police service. Well fuck that, I want my phone back.
Armed only with a raging justice boner and a vague fear of getting stabbed, my boyfriend and I hopped on the train and headed over there.
Once there, I put on my best “don’t stab me” face. When I knocked, a woman in her 40s/50s answered. I could see around four/ five other people in the room: seemed to be teenagers/ early 20s. I nicey nicey explained my predicament- how my phone had gone “missing” and it had been tracked to this very house.
After I’d explained a few times she threw her head over her shoulder and yelled: “are you listening?!” to the mob. She said she hadn’t found a phone and they’d all been out that day so couldn’t possibly have found it – but I kept pressing. I said if it showed up to send me a message. I mentioned something about a reward.
I had been making a fuss for a good two minutes in the doorway when eventually a man in his early/ mid 20 heaves himself up from the sofa and says “come outside with me”. I follow him outside and he sheepishly pulls my phone out his pocket, removing a slip of paper from between the phone and case in the process. He mutters something about finding it, we shake hands and I leave.
Headed to the nearest pub. Many pints were sunk in celebration.
A million thanks to Find My iPhone. No thanks to the Metropolitan Police.
TL;DR: Phone got swiped, police wouldn’t help, showed up on thief’s doorstep, embarrassed him in front of his mum/ aunt/ authority figure, he gave it back.