Thursday, February 25, 2016

"Who Touched My PHONE?!?!?!"

Sound familiar?

It is not thieves I have to worry about stealing my phone. In a house of nine children, it is not unusual to hear me clamoring, “Who touched my phone?”

It goes missing almost daily, sometimes even on an hourly basis. I plug it in, set in on the windowsill of my bedroom, and when I go back to it, all that is left of my phone is the charger cord, dangling lonely from the electric outlet.

Obviously, I am not going to get a straight answer from the kids, and, certainly, no one is quick to offer up a confession. (It Wasn't Me and I Didn't Do That do everything "bad" in my house, and I have yet to locate them!) 

Funny thing is, I had downloaded a phone locker. If you read the articles about this particular phone locker or other similar apps, you will hear people raving, “This app is awesome! If your phone is stolen, it will snap a picture of the thief who stole your phone and send it right to your email!”

Guess what I get in my email? 

Selfies of my little ones. Here are a couple:

Sometimes, the perp is just one of the kiddos. Other times, there are three of them in cohorts, all trying to figure out the pin while the locker app is snapping photographs of their innocent enough looking faces. That is about the only thing these locker apps are good for, in my opinion. 

In comments and reviews about these types of apps, people have spouted off about the PIN not working and not being able to unlock the phone with the PIN they set. A few angry "customers" said they had to buy a new phone, because the app totally locked up the phone. I did not have any of these problems, but we did realize that, even with a picture of the perp who stole your phone, and even if you had a tracking app that leads you right to the exact location of your phone, there is a good chance you will not be seeing your phone again.

I state these things because my husband left his phone at an air pump at a gas station a few years ago. He had some kind of app that snapped pics and sent them to his email. I think it might have been Google+ photo backup or something. 

When we realized that the pictures popping up in his account were not ours, we started paying close attention to the mysterious pictures. Many of them revealed certain spots around the town we lived in, including a bar in the middle of town. Others looked like they were taken inside of someone's apartment. 

Then, there it was. The selfie of the person who stole my husband's phone. Several of them, as a matter of fact. He looked pretty proud of himself, too. 

The pictures popped up over the duration of two or three weeks. During that time, we started to trace the phone. We were able to track the phone to a location that it seemed to "reside" at most of the time. 

Even when we took the pictures and the location of the phone to the police department, there wasn't a whole lot the cops were going to do about it, crazy as that sounds. I'm really not sure what we expected, but the PD was not going to send an officer to the door of that location and ask for the person in the picture. They were not worried about a stolen cell phone.

The moral of my story? 

I guess I should be happy the perps are the kids 100% of the time my phone goes missing! 

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