Did you Lose (or were Robbed of) a Pink iPhone?


“Dear PoPville,

Last night, I found a pink iPhone near 3rd St NE and R St NE in my alley. After reaching out to the Eckington listserve to find it’s owner, I was informed that there was a mugging on the Metropolitan Branch Trial around 11:30 a.m. yesterday, July 13, 2015, and the only things that were stolen was an iPhone and $50 (and probably the victim’s general faith in mankind).

Information on the mugging (with pictures of the assailants) can be found here.

I can only imagine the state of shock the victim must be in, and I would like to get her phone back to her ASAP. Can you help?

Interested folks can e-mail me at [email protected] and simply tell me what kind of sticker is on the back of the iPhone.

If I don’t hear anything back today, I’ll send the iPhone to the police — where it will likely fall into a evidence-holding cosmic black hole.”

23 Comment

  • hooville

    There’s no home? Or favorites? Or list of recent calls which you could deduce who someone is this person speaks with a lot that could help you return it?

    • it’s probably locked, right?

      • You can set an emergency contact number that you can call whilst it is locked. It’s fairly hidden unless you know about it though.

        Slide to unlock.
        Medical ID
        Call the listed number.

      • Yes, the phone is locked, and likely disabled since it was stolen from the victim. I haven’t received any calls or texts, or even notifications through the Find My iPhone app.

        To add a bit more context to the story, the 2x juveniles videoed were also seen in my alley shortly after the robbery, so I have to imagine this is the phone that was stolen (and later discarded).

        • soooo, it’s potentially evidence in a crime, that you haven’t notified the police about, and probably wiped fingerprints off of?

        • did you try what jwetz suggested? Even if the phone is locked and disabled you should be able to at least check to see if they have an emergency contact number through the instructions that jwetz gave.

        • Just wanted to give genuine thanks for your efforts to return this to its rightful owner. It’s rare that someone is willing to go out of his or her way to right a wrong, and it makes me feel better to know people like you exist!

      • You can also try talking to Siri and ask to call contacts by name “Home” “Mom” “Dad” etc. even if it’s locked. I found a locked iPhone in my alley as well a couple months ago and tried saying “Call Mom” “Call Dad” with no luck, so I used a common name “Sarah” and got a hold of a co-worker of the phone’s owner, who was able to connect us over email. I think you can also ask Siri “Whose phone is this?” and try to search them on Facebook. Siri for the win.

        • JMC is correct. You can ask Siri “whose iphone is this?” and hopefully it pulls up the person’s name and contact info.

          • I tried this last night, and Siri told me it didn’t have an internet connection, and wouldn’t respond to any of my requests. I don’t have an iphone, let alone ever tinkered w/ a locked one, but I figured this was an affect of reporting the phone lost and disabling it through Find My iPhone.

            Either way, MPD read this post and is on their way to pick it up. Now to find the victim’s $50 and stolen self-confidence. Sadness.

          • “MPD read this post and is on their way to pick it up. Now to find the victim’s $50 and stolen self-confidence. ”


  • It is a Verizon phone. You could take it to either a Verizon store or an Apple store and they can access the phone and find out who it is registered to, and call them to come pick it up. Probably the fastest way to get it back to the owner.

    I lost my iphone ~18 months ago (fell out of my pocket at in an office building lobby). I realized it was gone an hour later and when I went to my desktop computer to use the “find my iphone app”, I had an email from Verizon in my inbox already. The building concierge took it to the Verizon store around the corner and they emailed me as the registered account owner.

    Good luck finding the owner.

  • @jwetz — thanks for the tip, I’ll try it when I get back home.

    @anon — as a TV crime-show watcher, I’d like to believe fingerprints, DNA, and CCTV can solve everything. As a former prosecutor (and DC resident who turned in bullet casings in front of my house to watch the MPD officer say to my face, “if I take these, I’m going to be doing nothing but paperwork for the next 4 hours,” and politely decline the evidence, I know that fingerprints — particularly on a rubberized phone case — provide nothing to the police (particularly when there is already video of the perps — click the link above). Now, having something returned to you that was stolen from your person is something. So, I’d like to do the latter.

  • HaileUnlikely

    Too long ago to testify to it, but I’m about 95% sure that the one in the tank top was one of a group of three who robbed me at knife-point when I was walking home from the metro in March of last year.

    • Haile, that is terrible.

      If it makes you feel any better, MPD apparently reads PoPville because they just contacted me about the phone. They identified the sticker, and will be picking it up soon.

      @Becca — that is great. I was reading up on this option last night and it seemed like people who worked at Verizon, AT&T, etc., said not to do it because they’re instructed to refurb the phone for parts. I don’t know if that’s what actually happens, but I figured I’d try social media first.

      • It certainly makes ME feel better. There’s a lot of great discussions about crime on PoPville, and I’m really glad to hear that MPD at least scans it to keep up on what’s going on. And while it’s not face-to-face relations, it’s a good step toward getting to know the neighborhoods and communities. Props to the cops!

      • HaileUnlikely

        I note that they seem to get around *on the Red line*. I live in Takoma, and they ran back toward the metro after they robbed me. The robbery that is the subject of the current thread happened between RI Ave & Noma. And Dognonymous below notes that they were observed f*cking around in Brookland as well.

      • +1 to the MPD and to you for taking your time to return stuff!

        I’ve had good luck plugging phones or ipods into my computer and trying to access itunes or other files, it gives me an email address as the ID and requests a password. Then I send ’em an email.

        Fingerprints? people watch too many crime shows.

    • That’s awful. It sounds like these guys get around–someone on the Brookland listserv said these two guys and a third were going through cars and breaking side-mirrors in the neighborhood this weekend. Hopefully MPD can use the incredibly clear images from the MBT attack to do something about them.

  • So you are so worried about the police keeping it as evidence that you’ve probably wiped any fingerprints that would help catch these guys? Suggest you put it in a bag and take it to the police asap. Maybe there are still usable prints.

  • MPD, if you are reading this, please increase patrols on the trail, particularly between NoMa and RIA. A patrol car sitting by the RIA station is not enough. We need boots (or bikes) on the ground. As someone who uses the trail for both commuting and strolls with my baby, I’d appreciate the added presence. I know NoMa BID put forth some plans to increase the safety and viability of the trail, but those ideas are not enough. As an Eckington resident, it’s frustrating to have to choose between taking my chances crossing the Dave Thomas Circle or risking assault if on the trail after 10am.

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