Stolen iPhone - Help Me Solve the Mystery

Welcome to our Community
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.
Sign up

corcor

New Member
Jun 23, 2007
7
0
0
#1
Hi everyone,

Like many here, I was more excited for June 29 than just any other day in the last several years. I waited in line for my iPhone on launch, unopened it, waited another day to finally get it activated and enjoyed all of its digital pleasures for about 45 days. But last week my iPhone disappeared. I would paste in an emoticon here, but someone that just wouldn't convey the depths of my devastation at losing my phone.

I came into work on a Thursday morning, and I distinctly remember being late and quickly reading the front page of the Wall Street Journal on my iPhone as I walked into the office. I was new to the office that week (it was my third day), and I had been leaving my iPhone on my desk to the left of my computer. I sit in a cubicle, and when I'm sitting down I just prefer to have my pockets empty.

Anyway, I didn't use the phone much that day. I left the office three times during the day: once to get a sandwhich downstairs for lunch (I came directly back to the office without sitting down, and I am pretty sure I brought the phone with me), and because I was pretty tired that day, I walked out of the office twice to get some fresh air. I usually work pretty late, and after dinner I went to make a phone call...only to realize that my phone was missing. I went to look in my bag, but then I realized that I didn't bring a bag into the office. I turned my cube upside down, but because I was new there wasn't much in it and it was nowhere to be found. I e-mailed a list of coworkers, and no one had seen it. I called the phone repeatedly, but it kept going directly to voice mail. I went home that night and decided to sleep on it, hoping that somehow the phone would turn up the next day.

The next day, still no one had seen my iPhone. I called the number periodically again, and everytime, voicemail. Finally that evening, I called around 7 p.m., and the phone was ringing again. This seemed very bizarre to me. The cell phone reception in my office is poor (not just for AT&T but for all carriers...AT&T is actually one of the better ones), so originally I thought that *maybe* I had left the phone somewhere in the office where it just wasn't getting service. But this changed things.

During the rest of the weekend, I continued to call the phone, and it continued to ring out and go to voicemail. I went into the office and called it just about everywhere (it's a small office), hoping that I might be able to hear it somewhere. Still nothing. As of the following Monday night (now almost 5 days since I had last charged it), the phone was still ringing. This seemed particularly unusual since the iPhone battery had never lasted me longer than 2 full days, even given light usage (I although I liked to play with it so much that I almost never used it "lightly").

On Tuesday morning, the phone stopped ringing and started going directly to voicemail again. During this whole affair, I had been checking my account on AT&T's website, but in the five days after I lost the phone, there was no record of any phone calls (outgoing or incoming), nor was there any data usage after 1 p.m. on Thursday, the day I lost the phone. The thing is, I had my iPhone set to check both of my e-mail counts every hour. If you were to look at my bill from AT&T, you would see a small data use every hour the phone is turned on, which is the phone auto-checking my e-mail. This stopped after I lost the phone.

At this point, I've been without the phone for 10 days. It really, really sucks. This is a message to all of you: TAKE CARE OF YOUR iPHONE. Don't leave it around anywhere, even in a place you think safe like your office. The funny thing is that I usually carried my phone on a belt clip, and when I started work I was too lazy to find my clip so I had just been carrying it in my pocket.

On Tuesday, I went to the local AT&T store to get the IMEI # for the phone. The man at the store ran a search on the number for me, and as of Tuesday, the phone was still assigned only to my account. I went to the local police station the next morning to file a report, but they pretty much told me that they couldn't do anything (I knew that this would be the case since there was no record of anyone else using the phone).

I'm now resolved to having lost my iPhone. As much as I loved it, I am probably not going to buy another one because it won't be the same to have it without all of the contact information that I've lost (easily the worst thing about losing it, I think). However, I was hoping that some of you could help me solve this mystery.

If the phone was stolen (it's the only conclusion I can reach, having searched everywhere twice, and given the circumstances I outlined above), what happened to my phone? I work for a financial firm where most of the people in the office make more money than I do. The strangest things about all of this to me are:

1) The iPhone was apparently switched off for 24 hours or so after I lost it, and then was on again (or at least my number was taking calls) for three consecutive days.

2) The iPhone was still ringing nearly 5 full days after I lost it. I think there is no way the battery would have endured that long without a charge. Charging it wouldn't be difficult given that any iPod charger would do the trick, unless I'm mistaken.

3) The strangest thing: the iPhone was still taking calls, but there is no record of any data usage after I lost it last Thursday. The thief would have needed to know to turn off e-mail checking (and not to use any of the data features on the phone, such as Weather, Stocks, Safari, Maps, etc.) or would have needed to hack the phone to disable Edge.

Please help me figure out what happened here. Is there any hope that I may be able to track down the phone at some point if I keep checking in with AT&T?

Thanks so much and apologies for this eternal post.
 

corcor

New Member
Jun 23, 2007
7
0
0
#2
Also, I should note that I suspended my account after talking to the police. For the first few days after the theft, I was hoping that the thief would use the phone in some way so I could prove that it had been stolen. After so many days went by without any use, I decided to suspend. I also had no insurance on the phone. :eek:
 

tjespo22

New Member
Bronze
Jul 20, 2007
50
0
0
#3
dam that was some story, but i have no idea whatsoever how it would disappear like that. no clue at all. pretty weird. but im sorry to hear that you lost it. maybe it could turn up
 

Indy

Zealot
Gold
Jul 29, 2007
2,921
5
38
38
#5
That totally sucks!

Could it maybe have been the fedex or ups person or anyone else that delivers stuff in and out quickly on a weekly basis or something like that? Maybe in passing they just happened to see your phone on your desk unguarded!

Sorry for your loss. =(
 

corcor

New Member
Jun 23, 2007
7
0
0
#6
That totally sucks!

Could it maybe have been the fedex or ups person or anyone else that delivers stuff in and out quickly on a weekly basis or something like that? Maybe in passing they just happened to see your phone on your desk unguarded!

Sorry for your loss. =(
We get FedEx and UPS deliveries, but they come to the front desk. My cubicle is in the back of the office, where no one walks around except employees and cleaning staff who come in during the evening. At first I suspected the cleaning staff may have taken it, but they have a very good track record in our office.

I would think that I just misplaced it, but that wouldn't explain the battery lasting for 5 days or the lack of data usage (someone would have needed to switch my auto-email check off because I certainly didn't). It's a mystery.
 

eufo

New Member
Bronze
Aug 22, 2007
67
0
0
Miami
#8
I hate to be the party pooper, but...

Just because the phone number is "ringing" when you dial it, doesn't mean that the phone is on and ringing somewhere, although that would normally be the case.

My guess is that the phone is indeed off and in the possession of someone else. They may be either trying to get rid of it for money or trying to find a way to hack it for their own use in a way that would not get them caught. Who stole it? Anyone's guess. You said you're new at the office, so I'm sure you don't know the people well enough yet to realize who would possibly perpetrate such a crime. How much money a person makes doesn't preclude criminal behavior, just look at pro athletes! ;)

Seriously, though, I'm very sorry for your loss. I think you need to chalk it up to bad luck and buy another one (guarding it with your life, of course!)

And this is definitely raising my awareness level for my own iPhone. Thanks for the heads up.
 

petalmom

New Member
Silver
Jun 30, 2007
494
0
0
#10
You might want to consider changing jobs too? If it actually was a co-worker who took it (and it seems that you have eliminated any other possibility) I'm not sure that these are the type of people I would want to be working with?

At least report the "theft" to your HR department. Probably won't help you get it back but at least it's documented.

I am sorry for your loss, that really sucks.
 

Indy

Zealot
Gold
Jul 29, 2007
2,921
5
38
38
#11
You said that you sent everyone in your office an email to be on the lookout for your phone right?

Well, send another email saying something like: thank you for all of your help, but I should have my phone back soon! The police are tracking my number and tracing it to this criminal, I should have my phone back within the week! Thanks again!

yes I know, that's dishonest. But do what you thinx right.

Btw, you know if it ended back up on your desk you would definitely have some fingerprints! =P
 

corcor

New Member
Jun 23, 2007
7
0
0
#12
I hate to be the party pooper, but...

Just because the phone number is "ringing" when you dial it, doesn't mean that the phone is on and ringing somewhere, although that would normally be the case.
Eufo, could you please explain what you mean here? This is actually what perplexes me most. How exactly could the phone be ringing if it isn't on...do you mean that the thief put the sim card in a different phone? Or would there be another way to do this?

What baffles me is that the phone *seemed* to be on and ringing for several days, but it wasn't logging on to Edge to check my e-mail. Whoever took it knew what they were doing.
 

eufo

New Member
Bronze
Aug 22, 2007
67
0
0
Miami
#13
Eufo, could you please explain what you mean here? This is actually what perplexes me most. How exactly could the phone be ringing if it isn't on...do you mean that the thief put the sim card in a different phone? Or would there be another way to do this?

What baffles me is that the phone *seemed* to be on and ringing for several days, but it wasn't logging on to Edge to check my e-mail. Whoever took it knew what they were doing.
What I meant is this:

When you dial a phone number and hear the rings, it doesn't necessarily mean that the phone you're dialing is on and ringing. Case in point, I know with Sprint (my former carrier) that sometimes it has appearred to the caller that my phone was ringing even when the phone was completely off. Granted, most of the time it would go direct to voicemail, but just because its ringing isn't a guarantee that the phone is on, that's my point.

I used to work for AT&T Wireless before they merged with Cingular a long time ago, and I can tell you this:

We had detailed records of phone activity. We could tell you the exact cell tower the phone last communicated with and when (if the phone is ON it is communicating with a cell tower even if you're not using the phone). If you wish to pursue the matter, ask AT&T for that information.
 

x999x

New Member
Gold
Aug 6, 2007
1,656
0
0
#14
We have security cameras in our office, and I still don't trust leaving my iPhone alone on my desk when I slip out for a moment.

If you haven't tried it already, you should really call ATT and explain your dilemma. Ask them to give you the list of numbers made on the phone for that day, and thereafter for as long as they have record of while the culprit was still using your SIM.

That should provide quite a bit of information as to who it may have been if it was indeed someone in your office, or at least give you people to shake down letting them know you're following a trail back to your iPhone.
 

petalmom

New Member
Silver
Jun 30, 2007
494
0
0
#15
I know it was long but did you even read the post? The OP has already contacted AT&T. There has been no activity on the phone since he last saw it.
 

cdinca

Member
Bronze
Jul 4, 2007
397
1
16
#16
I think if someone stole it, they would have gone to at least 1 website to check it out. Not like they can tell who you are if you go to a website. Maybe you threw it away?
 

corcor

New Member
Jun 23, 2007
7
0
0
#17
I think if someone stole it, they would have gone to at least 1 website to check it out. Not like they can tell who you are if you go to a website. Maybe you threw it away?
Cdinca, this is what I'm trying to figure out. I really, really don't think there's any way that I threw my phone out. There were two reasons I was pretty sure it was stolen:

1) The phone was still ringing several days after I lost it, suggesting to me that it was on and had been charged. It was still ringing five days after I lost it, and my phone never lasted that long on one charge.

2) There was no log of any data usage after I lost it, suggesting that the culprit switched off my auto-email checking or disabled Edge.

According to eufo, however, the phone might still ring even if it was switched off. This seems strange to me, but since he seems to be more of an expert on the matter, I am willing to defer to his experience.

There were a few data uses that morning, with the last one being at 1 p.m. After that, nothing. No calls, and no data. It's just bizarre.
 

cdinca

Member
Bronze
Jul 4, 2007
397
1
16
#18
While you certainly might be correct, let me suggest the following.

1. you accidentally throw away your iPhone.
2. it is picked up by garbage services, loaded into a yuck truck.
3. no edge signal in the giant metal yuck truck, so not able to auto check email. (it is possible to have phone signal, but no EDGE right?)
4. since it is not able to auto check mail, and is mostly asleep, battery lasts much longer than usual.

I just find this so much more plausible than a theif knowing to disable your auto mail and not being curious enough to visit web sites, or youtube, or something...

Cdinca, this is what I'm trying to figure out. I really, really don't think there's any way that I threw my phone out. There were two reasons I was pretty sure it was stolen:

1) The phone was still ringing several days after I lost it, suggesting to me that it was on and had been charged. It was still ringing five days after I lost it, and my phone never lasted that long on one charge.

2) There was no log of any data usage after I lost it, suggesting that the culprit switched off my auto-email checking or disabled Edge.

According to eufo, however, the phone might still ring even if it was switched off. This seems strange to me, but since he seems to be more of an expert on the matter, I am willing to defer to his experience.

There were a few data uses that morning, with the last one being at 1 p.m. After that, nothing. No calls, and no data. It's just bizarre.
 

prmdbr

New Member
Bronze
Jul 29, 2007
91
0
0
#19
Agreeing with the above ^^^^ Sounds more like you may have lost (dropped) it, than it being stolen.

At any rate, refurbs are a deal -- you can buy one today without missing a beat, I suppose.

I just bought a refurb for my mom, seeing as how she loves the one I gave to my nephew.
 
Jul 15, 2007
24
0
0
www.submissiveophelia.com
#20
Any expensive electronic is a target for theft. I never ever leave my expensive items unattended, nor do I give them to others. The only place where I put my phone down is at home. I am sorry about your loss,but in the future perhaps you won't leave something unattended that is very trendy and expensive.


Hi everyone,

Like many here, I was more excited for June 29 than just any other day in the last several years. I waited in line for my iPhone on launch, unopened it, waited another day to finally get it activated and enjoyed all of its digital pleasures for about 45 days. But last week my iPhone disappeared. I would paste in an emoticon here, but someone that just wouldn't convey the depths of my devastation at losing my phone.

I came into work on a Thursday morning, and I distinctly remember being late and quickly reading the front page of the Wall Street Journal on my iPhone as I walked into the office. I was new to the office that week (it was my third day), and I had been leaving my iPhone on my desk to the left of my computer. I sit in a cubicle, and when I'm sitting down I just prefer to have my pockets empty.

Anyway, I didn't use the phone much that day. I left the office three times during the day: once to get a sandwhich downstairs for lunch (I came directly back to the office without sitting down, and I am pretty sure I brought the phone with me), and because I was pretty tired that day, I walked out of the office twice to get some fresh air. I usually work pretty late, and after dinner I went to make a phone call...only to realize that my phone was missing. I went to look in my bag, but then I realized that I didn't bring a bag into the office. I turned my cube upside down, but because I was new there wasn't much in it and it was nowhere to be found. I e-mailed a list of coworkers, and no one had seen it. I called the phone repeatedly, but it kept going directly to voice mail. I went home that night and decided to sleep on it, hoping that somehow the phone would turn up the next day.

The next day, still no one had seen my iPhone. I called the number periodically again, and everytime, voicemail. Finally that evening, I called around 7 p.m., and the phone was ringing again. This seemed very bizarre to me. The cell phone reception in my office is poor (not just for AT&T but for all carriers...AT&T is actually one of the better ones), so originally I thought that *maybe* I had left the phone somewhere in the office where it just wasn't getting service. But this changed things.

During the rest of the weekend, I continued to call the phone, and it continued to ring out and go to voicemail. I went into the office and called it just about everywhere (it's a small office), hoping that I might be able to hear it somewhere. Still nothing. As of the following Monday night (now almost 5 days since I had last charged it), the phone was still ringing. This seemed particularly unusual since the iPhone battery had never lasted me longer than 2 full days, even given light usage (I although I liked to play with it so much that I almost never used it "lightly").

On Tuesday morning, the phone stopped ringing and started going directly to voicemail again. During this whole affair, I had been checking my account on AT&T's website, but in the five days after I lost the phone, there was no record of any phone calls (outgoing or incoming), nor was there any data usage after 1 p.m. on Thursday, the day I lost the phone. The thing is, I had my iPhone set to check both of my e-mail counts every hour. If you were to look at my bill from AT&T, you would see a small data use every hour the phone is turned on, which is the phone auto-checking my e-mail. This stopped after I lost the phone.

At this point, I've been without the phone for 10 days. It really, really sucks. This is a message to all of you: TAKE CARE OF YOUR iPHONE. Don't leave it around anywhere, even in a place you think safe like your office. The funny thing is that I usually carried my phone on a belt clip, and when I started work I was too lazy to find my clip so I had just been carrying it in my pocket.

On Tuesday, I went to the local AT&T store to get the IMEI # for the phone. The man at the store ran a search on the number for me, and as of Tuesday, the phone was still assigned only to my account. I went to the local police station the next morning to file a report, but they pretty much told me that they couldn't do anything (I knew that this would be the case since there was no record of anyone else using the phone).

I'm now resolved to having lost my iPhone. As much as I loved it, I am probably not going to buy another one because it won't be the same to have it without all of the contact information that I've lost (easily the worst thing about losing it, I think). However, I was hoping that some of you could help me solve this mystery.

If the phone was stolen (it's the only conclusion I can reach, having searched everywhere twice, and given the circumstances I outlined above), what happened to my phone? I work for a financial firm where most of the people in the office make more money than I do. The strangest things about all of this to me are:

1) The iPhone was apparently switched off for 24 hours or so after I lost it, and then was on again (or at least my number was taking calls) for three consecutive days.

2) The iPhone was still ringing nearly 5 full days after I lost it. I think there is no way the battery would have endured that long without a charge. Charging it wouldn't be difficult given that any iPod charger would do the trick, unless I'm mistaken.

3) The strangest thing: the iPhone was still taking calls, but there is no record of any data usage after I lost it last Thursday. The thief would have needed to know to turn off e-mail checking (and not to use any of the data features on the phone, such as Weather, Stocks, Safari, Maps, etc.) or would have needed to hack the phone to disable Edge.

Please help me figure out what happened here. Is there any hope that I may be able to track down the phone at some point if I keep checking in with AT&T?

Thanks so much and apologies for this eternal post.