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Found an Iphone 4 today. What to do with it?

Discussion in 'off topic' started by john.luckins, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. john.luckins

    john.luckins pfm Member

    My 16 year old son came upon an Iphone 4 today when walking to the station. It had obviously just been dropped and landed on one corner, with the screen smashed from that point inwards. The phone still worked but had a screen lock, so he decided to switch it off and bring it home to see what should be done.

    I've decided what I think should be done but given the plethora of varied advice on the net I am interested to see what you guys here think should happen to it.

  2. Anex

    Anex Señor Member

    See if you can ring 'home' or 'mum & dad' or most often dialled number or something.
  3. afewbeers

    afewbeers more sense than money

    I'd try the Police but not sure if they're interested in this sort of thing today. Probably worth taking the sim card out, taking it to the relevant phone provider and asking them to get in touch with the owner.
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Surprised the owner hasn't tried to phone it / used iCloud's 'Find My iPhone' feature (if it's still working and has power it should know where it is via GPS and can relay this info to the owner, allow the owner to send messages to the lock screen, erase the phone's data etc). Not a lot more you can do bar hand it in at the local cop shop.

    PS leave the SIM in at least until the battery dies so the owner can try and communicate with it.
  5. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    What do you think you should do, John?
  6. Greg

    Greg 2t5b

    Who was it who started the "I've bought a bike on finance but the loan company haven't been in touch" thread?
  7. john.luckins

    john.luckins pfm Member

    Unless I can track down the owner I'll take it to the local Police Station in the morning. From what I have been told they will be able to find out the IMEI number and get it compared with a list of lost/stolen phones.

    I can't get the phone on because of the password so I've just put the miniature SIM into an old Nokia phone of mine. It connects to the Orange Network and the only number I can retrieve off it is its own number (I've called it to check) and the numbers of four received but blank text messages. There's an Orange customer Service Number there too which I'm probably going to phone now to se what they suggest. If I'm lucky the fact that the phone is found and functional and can be retreived will get to the owner before he authorises the operator to block it completely and there will be no issue other than getting it back to him.

    I'm not 100% confident of how the police will deal with this - they've got plenty of other things to do, so if I can do it myself so much the better.

    I was slightly worried that my son already knew that the IMEI code is hard wired into this phone and will likely get blocked and be impossible to change. He said that a friend had told him that a blocked Iphone is the equivalent to an Itouch with a useless socket for a SIM card and a guilty conscience! Now if that is true and widely understood then its a pretty good endorsement for Iphone security don't you think?

  8. Wilson

    Wilson SCTV half wit

    Leave it powered up and see if the owner calls. If you are feeling really generous you could charge the battery.
  9. Brian

    Brian Eating fat, staying slim

    Best course of action is to call Orange customer service.
  10. john.luckins

    john.luckins pfm Member

    Well Orange customer service have taken my details and are trying to contact the owner to tell them to call me about it. Apparently the owner hasn't reported it lost yet. Awaiting their call. Sounds like it is nearly a result apart from the broken screen.
  11. dss

    dss Musical Bons

    You could take it to CEX, as recommended in another thread, they handle electronic goods like this is it.

  12. john.luckins

    john.luckins pfm Member

    That's an idea. Don't have many branches out here in the sticks. From what I've just read this is probably best done only in the very unlikely event that the owner doesn't respond to my attempts to get the phone back to them and after appropriate period of time, which appears to be 6 weeks under UK law. One of my neighbours is in the police and I'll ask them what they recommend tomorrow. I'm sure CEX get to see a lot of these. They can also donate to Charity directly which seems like a neat way to finish things off.
  13. ariegur

    ariegur pfm Member

  14. mjw

    mjw pfm Member

    you're right that the cops will be busy (tonight especially) but your instinct is also right about them having the capability. Until recently it was de rigueur (in South Yorkshire, at least) for all phones in possession of persons coming into custody to have their IMEIs checked - ditto phones handed in or discovered in street searches. Between them and Orange it should get sorted.
  15. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    The police will make no effort to reunite the phone with its owner, either drop it in at the sim providers nearest shop or at an Apple store. If you give it to the cops I will end up being binned after 6 months as it is lost and damaged goods and therefore cannot be auctioned as POFP.

    Failing that sell it for drugs....
  16. canonman

    canonman pfm Member

    If it's handed in to the police in London or the Home Counties and then not claimed, it will go to auction at Greasbys in Tooting. They do shed loads of phones over a year.

    To coin a phrase, other auction sites are also available.
  17. Stevie A

    Stevie A pfm Member

    I was in the same situation,my 11 yr old daughter found a top of the range Nokia on the local park,i phoned "Mum" and she came round to collect it with a nice bottle of wine as a thankyou!!!
  18. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    I used to work for the guy who had the POFP auction contract for Northumberland, we used to get some right stuff in. Shop dummies, hot air balloons, you name it, we flogged it.
  19. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    I repeat for the balloons on here who think you should not hand it in to the police.

    After 6 weeks the goods are yours legally if no one claims them off the police. You just need to remember to collect them.
  20. john.luckins

    john.luckins pfm Member

    According to this site:


    you won't get the phone if it isn't claimed. It states:

    "You cannot claim a mobile phone that has been handed in to the police. The police cannot give mobile phones to the finders as the phones may contain personal data about the owner."

    I think that goes for every force in the country too. It'll probably end up trashed by the police as its screen is damaged.

    Who gets the proceeds from these auctions I wonder. Mr Plod or the government?

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