Detective Work Time!
July 23, 2006 5:08 PM   Subscribe

Playing detective after a stolen cell phone.

This past thursday afternoon, I left my cell phone (a verizon xv6700 with a 1gb miniSD card, missin stylus, and a heart sticker on the back) on a counter at a best buy store unattended for about 90 seconds. Of course I never saw my phone again, in person anyway. However, I did see it on cragislist several hours later for sale. I contacted the seller (who also responded to my CL lost+found post), posing as a buyer, and began to arrange a transaction. I simuntaneously contacted the friendly and helpful people of the 9th precinct if the NYPD, who filed a report, and instructed me to call them if I was to meet this seller.

However, our seller, a Mr. Ian Bishop, seems to have cancelled his yahoo mail address (, before I had a chance to get my phone, him, or both. Thus I am left with a few bits of information:
-His name seems to be Ian Bishop
-He doesn't know shit about the phone (his original post was rife with wrong that the phone takes a SIM card.
-His original post included the location "Manhattan Mall"
-He is unskilled at the english language.
-He loves video games (accepted trades in his ad include an XBox with a bunch of games, XBox 360, PSP, Nintendo DS Lite, etc.)

Any ideas on how to track him down?
I was thinking of calling the Manhattan Mall office and asking if he works there, and in what store, then bringing the most friendly PO Collins with me to retrieve my phone, but I'm not betting on the viability of this strategy
posted by weaponsgradecarp to Law & Government (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Note: My number has been temporarily suspended and the ESN on the phone blacklisted.
posted by weaponsgradecarp at 5:11 PM on July 23, 2006

Response by poster: b1tr0t, I considered that, but this Ian Bishop person used the same email to respond to the lost and found ad (soliciting a reward), as well as for his For Sale ad. Aditionally, he did not strike me as the type to create a new email/alias simply for the making of a quick buck (which obviously was the purpose of this sale). I'll still consideri it a possibility though...
posted by weaponsgradecarp at 6:08 PM on July 23, 2006

Oh, how this brings to mind the recent saga of the lost (and found) T-Mobile Sidekick!
posted by ericb at 6:20 PM on July 23, 2006

Just a thought - does the phone have GPS? If so, can VZ help you track it?
posted by aberrant at 6:53 PM on July 23, 2006

Response by poster: aberrant, tried that, phone actually has a real GPS chip (not just tower triangulation, but VZW refuses to track it
posted by weaponsgradecarp at 7:21 PM on July 23, 2006

Best answer: Does the Best Buy store have in-house security cameras that you can look at the tape and make a print of his face if it is visible and bring it to the PO Collins and/or post your own "wanted" type posters in and around the Manhattan Mall.

Could put the posters up anyway without his picture but with a name and email address to contact. I'll bet he tries to contact you if he sees it.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:42 PM on July 23, 2006

Response by poster: JohnnyGunn, that is a GREAT idea! I should most definitely try that!!!
posted by weaponsgradecarp at 7:46 PM on July 23, 2006 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Verizon won't track the phone cause *you* asked... but if you can get a police detective to ask, they might.
posted by baylink at 9:25 PM on July 23, 2006

My friend recently lost his cell phone (UK phone with a SIM) and he was able to find out that the phone had been used to call a few numbers after it had been lost. We called those numbers and started telling the people that they were being called via a stolen phone, etc. I guess the guy who had it got nervous that we were on to him because we had the phone back shortly after.
posted by gfrobe at 12:51 AM on July 24, 2006

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