What to do with a found iPhone?

OCD SS

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While walking to a restaurant for my anniversary last night, I found an iPhone 12 laying on the ground. I checked and it was on the “Hello” start up screen, so had been remotely wiped and I presume activation locked. I’d like to get it back to rightful owner, so I called Apple and they don’t track the MEID or IMEI numbers, so taking it back to them isn’t going to do that.

the Apple customer care rep suggested leaving it at the local precinct, but Brooklyn cops are not really a lost and found, and I suspect that it will sit in a box somewhere, but I’ll at least file a report.

Other than putting an ad up on Craigslist, and seeing if a hyper local blog might exists to list it on, can anyone recommend a more tech savvy solution to return it?
 

bsj

Renegade Crazed Genius
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Dec 6, 2003
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I'm surprised that there isn't a way to call Apple...have them trace the IMEI...and contact the owner. That's crazy that this isn't a thing.
 

nvalvo

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Jul 16, 2005
19,373
Rogers Park
I have done this.

A few years ago, I was walking around in SF and I found a phone on the ground. I was able to ask Siri "whose phone is this?" and then call the dude's work. I left a voicemail message with my contact info, and heard from the gentleman in question about an hour later. The dude met my friends and I at a Salvadorean restaurant in the neighborhood and classily paid for our pupusas.

If the phone is locked or wiped, that avenue is likely unavailable. But check to see if it is in "Lost Mode" (see here).
 

Scott Cooper's Grand Slam

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Jul 12, 2008
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If it's already been remotely wiped, your best bet is to take it to the local precinct. If the person had put the phone in Lost Mode, you have a couple options:

1. as Malvo suggested above
2. You could have kept the phone on and charged, so that if the owner pinged it with Find My then they would see its last known location

But if it's not in Lost Mode, then the odds of returning it to the rightful owner are miniscule.
 

OCD SS

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It looks like it is not in lost mode; no message on the screen or anything else. I was able to connect it to the internet, and can see the activation lock & Apple ID email is “p•••••@yahoo.com”, so I’ll see if it gets a ping.

Otherwise I’ll drop it at the precinct, NYC 311 doesn’t have much else in the way of info…
 

Tangled Up In Red

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Nov 8, 2004
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...from La Santaneca in Bernal Heights, a lovely little neighborhood spot in the part of town where I lived for part of my 20s.
Not to further derail all things iphone, but Santaneca is owned by the family of my son's best friend from high school (Balboa). It is the pupusa standard bearer in SF. Nice call.
 

RG33

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Nov 28, 2005
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Random story about lost phone = random story about pupusas = random story of how SoSH is connected to everything.