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Lost and Found, why people get upset.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
1,088 posts
33 reviews
Lost and Found, why people get upset.

On our latest trip dec 6-10 we stayed at our newest home the corner suite at the Aria. I decided that this trip I wanted something new every day. Day-1 Venetian christmas presentation, Day-2 Belagio christmas presentation, Day-3 christmas shopping and Day-4 MJ concert.

Day 1 was great walked to Venetian and got lots of pictures the V/P did an excellent job. Day 2 off to Belagio and during return along walkway to Aria we find a new iPhone either 4 or 4s.

Now this is where things get fun.

Upon our return we call and attempt to locate owner of iPhone but no luck with Aria front desk or Security (I think)

As our daughters have probably gone through 5-6 iPhones in their life, being stolen or lost my husband a po of 32 years 1 month and 11 days decides it is better to locate owner ourselves.

He states from his experience that the officer will simply log in phone as found property and if not claimed in standard 30-90 day waiting period it is then returned to the finder.

So I leave it to him as he should know how to find the owner, I mean this new phone is like $8-900, and I am sure the owner would really like to get it back. I should mention at this time the iPhone is locked and appears to have the latest 5.01 software on it, or so I am told.

With no luck from the Aria we return home to Canada on Saturday the 10th. being late we do not even unpack our luggage with the iPhone in it.

On Sunday the 11th my husband goes on to locating the owner and turns on the phone to which there is this message, which I presume is the owner stating

"hey you fxxxing axxhole, you little fxxxing thief, give me back my fxxxing phone, and there won't be any fxxxing problems, you can drop it off at the Belagio front desk.

Well I was shocked at the language especially 4 times in one text message, however my husband seem to shake it off and called the Belagio at our expense as we are in Canada.

After about 1-2 hours of speaking to "Brandy" who did everything she could, there was no record of a lost iPhone during this time. My husband left our home phone with security and informed them if they located the owner we would courier the phone to them ASAP.

Next hubby hooked up the iPhone to a computer with iTunes on it hoping that the computer would give a name to the iPhone and we could reverse locate it by this. Another 30 minutes with no luck.

OK we guessed that most iPhones are now ATT and called their customer service. Another 2-3 hours of going through everything and this time we got the SIM card removed so they could reverse search the SIM card to the owner and call them to inform them that we found their iPhone.

The customer service girl was great, especially the fact she was helping get an owner their iPhone returned. It should be noted that all we wanted them do was call the owner and advise them with our home phone so they could call us back. We understood that ATT would not give us the owner's information. Well after at least 3 hours the customer service stated that she would need a supervisor's permission to make this phone call.

Week 1 now ending we get a call 4-5 days later from ATT stating that they were not allowed to call the owner as it was an invasion of their privacy to make such a call. They suggested we mail the phone back to their "lost and found"

Week 2, my husband is determined to return the phone being less then a week until christmas. We then spend about another 5 hours researching and sending messages to people who are texting this person on their iPhone. I search Facebook accounts in Georgia where my husband feels the owner lives and send off 20-25 e-mails.

There was 2 phone numbers that appeared on the iPhone and the first person hanged up twice and didn't care as she didn't have the time of day to talk to my husband and the second person spent 2-3 hours trying to figure out who the person might be whom she texted. Unfortunately she collect clothing for Africa and was running a clothing drive before christmas.

Ok still no luck, so my husband then calls the supervisor in ATT security or so who he was advised. After 1-2 hours on the phone we learn that there is an IMEI number on the SIM card holder which can trace back to the owner. Needless to say we are then advised that it is the end of the shift for him and that he will call us back the following day. He advises us that this is their newest iPhone 4g that was just released by ATT and is very valuable.

2-3 days go by and still no reply from e-mails or second ATT rep.

Ok my husband says Ill call Apple they sell every iPhone and have records of all owners as they warranty the iPhone.

After being transferred to 4-5 persons I get someone who knows what to do, he asks me for the IMEI number which is in minute print on the SIM card, he hums and hesitates for a couple more minutes then puts me on hold and comes back stating that Apple's policy will not allow him to contact the owner as doing so would be a violation of their privacy policy.

I can't really believe this my husband pleads with him stating look it almost christmas, don't you have any

christmas spirit, he states he would like to but it against his policy. My husband then asks the Apple employee to call the owner and state this guy found your iPhone, call him and tell him where you would like to have the iPhone sent to, then hang up. He again says no, finally my husband tells the apple employee that "Santa knows who has been good and who hasn't" and did he really want to be on Santa's bad list, the guy chuckles but still refuses to contact the owner.

Ok it is now Christmas eve, 9 pm pacific time and for some reason my husband goes onto the computer and manages to completely erase the iPhone bringing it back to brand new status. I did not think this was possible as Apple states that even a new 4s iPhone with OS 5.01 cannot be broken into. I'm looking at him wondering what he had just done, he then asks my daughter where do you get the owner info off of the phone, she advises that if there is a SIM card it will be the only info in contact list.

We get the only number which is in Georgia and at 12:23 am on Christmas Day we call the owner and leave a message on her answering machine. We then reverse search the same number and find the name and address of the owner who owns and runs a Hair Salon in Georgia.

A few minutes later the phone rings, the owner states it is her iPhone, which she lost in vegas 15 days earlier. My husband states that on tuesday the 27th he will drive across the Border and ship the phone back to her. She states she is sleepy and my husband wishes her a merry christmas to which she replies "good night" and happy holidays.

On the 27th, we courier her phone to her in Georgia, she got it the following day, no phone call from her to even thank us for all the trouble we went to return her phone or apology for her rude text.

Lesson to be learned here is that it is not easy to do the right thing, I think we spent 12-20 hours on the phone long distance, probably 40 hours attempting to locate the owner including researching the internet, and costs to return the iPhone, a "thank you" would have been appreciated, I guess not here especially when someone uses the "f" word 4 times in one text message alone

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
1,088 posts
33 reviews
21. Re: Lost and Found, why people get upset.

I stupidly lost/dropped my phone in Bellagio.or Aria one trip but was able to retrieve from security at Bellagio thanks to the kindness and honesty of the person who turned it in.


We found it on the walkway from the Aria and had I simply turned it into the Aria it would have gone to lost and found then returned to us after 30-90 days. It appears from the owners rude text they were staying at the Belagio.

I have to say from our calls to the Belagio and talking to Brandy in security for over 2 hours it appears that either there is no record keeping or the owner never checked at the front desk for her phone. I know that apple and some cellular companies now insure for a lost or stolen phone with a minor deductable.

Bucks County...
Level Contributor
3,135 posts
62 reviews
22. Re: Lost and Found, why people get upset.

If the owner of the iPhone texted something useful instead of insulting she might have got her phone back sooner. Something like "if you found my phone please call or text "Jane" at 555-555-5555" would have been more useful than cursing at strangers who were trying to get your phone to you.

I believe in doing the right thing and Karma. Thank you OP for going through the trouble and expense that you did; I'm just sorry that the recipient was so ungrateful. Next time she loses her phone she might not be lucky.

Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
2,606 posts
43 reviews
23. Re: Lost and Found, why people get upset.

They would have eventually found you. Those iPhones have GPS plus an app called "Find My Phone".

Level Contributor
557 posts
104 reviews
24. Re: Lost and Found, why people get upset.

I was thinking they had a Find My Phone app too but perhaps the owner wasn't educated about her phone. Hopefully a thank you will be forthcoming; it is a busy time of year and I'd like to think the owner would take the time to thank you. At least you know you did the right thing and that example was set for your children.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
1,088 posts
33 reviews
25. Re: Lost and Found, why people get upset.

They would have eventually found you. Those iPhones have GPS plus an app called "Find My Phone".


actually in reality these things are one of the most commonly stolen items. here in BC people observed talking on their iPhone are often targeted and robber of their iPhones.

the GPS will only work if the phone is on and the original SIM card installed and the software not erased. Unfortunately the first thing a thief does when stealing an iPhone is to turn it off then using 2 simple procedures then erases the iPhone as my husband had to do.

The difference is that a thief will remove the SIM card once the phone restarts after being erased and this will eliminate all records of any call information.

In my husbands case he purposely left the SIM card in so that the phone will access it, and store the telephone number in the phones contact list, "that being it's own phone number".

The tracking will also only work as long as the "find my iPhone app" is installed on the phone, once the phone is erased it is virtually in brand new electronic condition, even the usage and time recorder are all set to zero.

Of note buyers of used iPhones should be aware of this as the lifetime indicator similar to a cars odometer is set at zero by this erase procedure.

victoria bc canada
Level Contributor
1,934 posts
26. Re: Lost and Found, why people get upset.

You did the right thing.The owners response was very ungrateful.

Park Forest...
Level Contributor
11,488 posts
89 reviews
27. Re: Lost and Found, why people get upset.

I guess I have to take the opposite position. The SOP in this situation is to turn the item in either to the business where it was found or to the police. For an item that valuable to not be turned in, it's generally safe to assume that the item is never coming home. So I can understand the text message as the owner really had no way to understand that you were going to try to find them.

And I don't think even with the best of intentions I would have taken that item out of the country. But that's just me.

Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
2,623 posts
1 review
28. Re: Lost and Found, why people get upset.

DT, first let me say that I think it is wonderful you went to so much trouble to help the owner out and they absolutely should have been grateful. In my case it was just an ordinary phone and I didn't discover it was missing until I woke up in the morning. It was easy to track where I might have dropped it as it was my first night there. We were staying at Bellagio and had only gone to Aria so I called the security departments/lost and found at both casinos.

Neither of them had the phone when I called in the morning but when I checked again upon returning in the late afternoon the woman at the Bellagio security asked me to desribe my phone and then asked me if there was a picture on it. I said yes, my boxer and she asked if he was wearing sunglasses. Yes! That's my Kacey! :)) She sent one of the security people to deliver the phone to my room which I thought was exceptional service.

I commend you for going to so much trouble to help out a careless stranger. She must have assumed someone stole the phone, I knew I probably just dropped it. I went that day to Brighton and forked over $200 for a great little organizer that is now my casino purse.

I now have a Droid and I am paranoid about losing it. I do have the Find My Phone AP, thanks for all the info on that. I am pretty clueless when it comes to the features on my smart phone, guess I am not smart enough, lol!

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
1,088 posts
33 reviews
29. Re: Lost and Found, why people get upset.

I guess I have to take the opposite position. The SOP in this situation is to turn the item in either to the business where it was found or to the police. For an item that valuable to not be turned in, it's generally safe to assume that the item is never coming home. So I can understand the text message as the owner really had no way to understand that you were going to try to find them.

And I don't think even with the best of intentions I would have taken that item out of the country. But that's just me.


I understand you having your opinion but in this world there is fact and reality.

First of all there is no standard operating procedure. There is a requirement when you find something where the owner can be easily found to return it, an example of this is you find a wallet with money and ID such as a driver's license with the persons address on it. to keep it would be "theft by finding"

Now this case is different what was found was a iPhone which was locked and no apparent owner. There is about 30 million of these out there according to "Apple"

Now in this case the iPhone was found in the walkway from Belagio to Aria and very close to the Aria who were contacted and took down my name and contact info. Should the owner contact them they would have contacted me and received their iPhone quickly.

Now for as turning it into the Aria or Police, the laws of finding anything of value is that it is kept for a time period usually from 30-90 days and then it is returned to the finder. If the laws were not this way then there would be no one turning in found items of value.

Needless to say I finding the iPhone on Aria property they were informed and had my contact info. Now as for the Belagio I spent 2 hours with their security officer who checked all records and front desk with negative results.

When you lock an iPhone you make it virtually impossible for anyone to return it to you. As far as Apple saying that locking an iPhone will guarantee anyone from getting into it, with a simple 2 stroke entry the iPhone was erased and returned to new condition in order to retrieve the owners phone number which in this case is how she was located.

Now as far as taking the phone out of the country is sounds good in print but in reality it means nothing "this is not interstate transportation of iPhone"

My husband has 32 years 1 month and 11 day in law enforcement, and if you think the Police have nothing to do but find out who owns a found iPhone which was lost, I think not, maybe if it was related to a homocide, but not simply because it fell out of someone's pocket, at least not in Las Vegas.

In reality it would have been tagged by the police put in a storeroom for 30-90 days and then a letter sent out to the finder giving them 45 days to claim or be added to the next Police Auction.

Sometimes you have to think outside the box to get things done.

Diamond Bar...
Level Contributor
783 posts
64 reviews
30. Re: Lost and Found, why people get upset.

I found an iPhone on a bench while waiting for my car in the Valet parking area at the Four Seasons. I gave it to the doorman who contacted security. I suppose I should have waited around but I needed to get on the road for home. At the time it seemed like the right thing to do. I don't know if I would have had the patience or the time to track down the owner on my own like you did. You certainly went all out. Well done!

Edited: 3:19 pm, January 01, 2012