Question: Tale of lost and tracked iPhone
Day started as usual. I got up early and went to buy milk. (Time: 0700 hours) I usually wear pants where I can keep my mobile and purse safe, but in some lazy mood, I decided to go in shorts. I know my mobile and purse will not be safe in shorts, so I kept both of them in my hand bag. I sound clever right? WRONGGGG!!
After I bought the milk, I kept it together with my purse inside the bag and checked my phone for messages. Placed my phone ALONE back in my shorts (Dumb me !!)
The phone would’ve slipped out of shorts while I was soaking in the morning weather and driving back home. Not so Lo and behold, it dawned on me that my phone is missing when I reached out inside what was the most hollowed out pocket in the history of shorts.
I retraced the path I took from the shop twice by bike and by walk, searching the road painstakingly and asked around. Luck decided not to give a **** whatsoever. After losing all hope, went back home and narrated the episode to my whole family, who were visibly upset (Time 0800 hours)
Googled (not safari’ed) on ways to erase data on a stolen device, for obvious reasons *wink wink*
That’s when I stumbled upon the fact that it can be traced by using Find my iPhone app. It seems one can connect all iDevices to an iCloud account and monitor their location remotely from the App through any apple device. (Start using your iCloud account. It’s not just for storing your photos people)
I own an iPhone 6S Plus, Apple Watch, Macbook Pro and my mom has her own iPhone. One happy Apple family right!! Without further ado I opened the "Find my iPhone” app in my laptop and I noticed my iPhone is on the move at about 4 clicks from my place, which is near my office. Grabbed my mom’s phone and used my iCloud credentials and opened the app in her phone.
At once got on my bike and started driving, holding my mom’s phone in one hand. Desperate times call for desperate measures. My wife is tracking my iPhone at home in my laptop and was updating me on the stolen mobile’s location.
When I reached my office, my iPhone was roughly 10 clicks away from me in the opposite direction, boy was I screwed. I figured he might be a cab driver or an auto rickshaw driver so just waited near my office to observe which direction he is headed. To my luck, I see my iPhone coming towards my location and I waited over the bridge. I can see that my current location and the iPhone’s location are same but he is under the bridge.There were hundreds of cars, cabs and auto rickshaws, all moving like a lazy tortoise. I decided to follow the coordinates, till I can narrow down the suspect. (Time: 1000 hours)
I followed him for another 15 clicks during which an interesting thing happened. I knew I was close him at 3-4 occasions because my watch connected to my lost phone but I couldn’t possibly know who is carrying it. I was surrounded by lot of vehicles and always sync happened when I am in traffic. I even made my phone ring using my watch (Yes you can do that !!) but no one picked my phone or acted suspiciously. I have my wife to thank, who kept updating me about the directions to take, which lane/exit to take. She really gave me hope, love you loads babe.
To make things worse, my mom’s iPhone that I was carrying, ran out of juice, rendering my quest pointless without it. Had no other choice except to return home and charge my mom’s phone (Time: 1200 hours)
I activated enabled the “lost mode” on my iPhone which basically keeps the GPS on perpetually and flashes a “Help” test in the display and blocks every other functionality)
My wife pointed out that he is just 3 clicks from our place and he hasn’t moved for almost 15 mins. My mom’s phone is 30% charged and my lost iPhone is 40% charged (Yes you can see that also in “Find my iPhone” app)
I jumped onto my bike again and when I reached the spot I can see that he is on the move again (Time: 1300 hours) Again started my pursuit of him slowly and he stopped somewhere ahead of me. I went near him and to my surprise I found an auto rickshaw standing near a tea shop and a guy was having tea. My location and my lost iPhone’s location were identical. I got down consciously to not do anything suspicious and slowly went near him and pinged my phone from my Watch and I can hear my phone ring from his pocket. I had a huge sigh of relief, one that is unparalleled.
When questioned, he told that he was busy with his customer rides and had stashed the phone inside a bag and kept it in the glove compartment. Since the display was broken and phone is in silent mode, he didn’t know what to do. He also said that he was planning on using a pair of earphones and giving it a shot during lunch. He sounded innocent but something was off. I asked him to hand over the phone to check and he gave the phone too. The display was shattered into pieces and I asked him how it happened. He told that’s what happens when it is run over by a water truck (that was LOL moment)
I gave him 500 bucks and took phone and informed the worried souls back home and went straight to nearest Apple Care Centre. Got the screen replaced in a couple of hours the screen in couple hour and made sure that everything else is fine. (Time: 1600 hours)
Here is the silver lining, since the day before, my display was already cracked and water kept going in and I was having issues with the phone and would’ve changed the display anyway. Now the phone is good as new and I keep only the apps I need. I would have paid double the money I spent on replacing the screen, for such a real time spy experience
It was very astounding to spot that even after a giant truck had ran over the phone, only the screen was damaged. Amazing!! I came home and narrated the story with all minor details to mom and wife and kid.
Mom: Why did you give him 500. You should give him 501!!
Wife: See on the bright side, I can track your whereabouts now!!
I was never this happy about owning Apple devices. Credits to their apps, security features, service and much more!!
So, what interesting thing have you done lately
- A reborn Apple user!!
iPhone 6s Plus, iOS 11.2