Check out last year’s card here.
Remember a few months back (here) when I said we had some new, big projects coming? Well, the next one has begun…and you should know we’re serious by how our last project, our new office turned out. Can you guess what it is?
Well, we’ve unfortunately joined the ranks of those who’ve had their iphone stolen. And unfortunately, this story dragged on for over one month and does not have a happy ending. However, there is something to be learned here if you have just had your iphone stolen, so read on!
On March 1st, Josh was returning from a week long business trip in Georgia. He and his coworkers had flown into Denver and were on a shuttle back to their car. That’s when it happened. Josh left his iphone in the shuttle. He knew he had it on that shuttle, and knew he didn’t have it an hour later when he and his coworkers were on the car ride home. He immediately called it, and it rang with no answer. He called it right after, and it went straight to voicemail. He knew the battery was low, but it seemed odd to have died within a few seconds of the two calls. So, at this point, we had no idea if it was just lost on the shuttle, or it had indeed been stolen.
We’re learned A LOT about stolen iphones in the past week or so. So much so, that we think it’s important that if you own an iphone you are aware as well.
- First of all, your phone has what is called an ‘ESN’ number. This number is unique to your phone and when you sign up with a phone carrier (Verizon, Sprint, etc.) that ESN number is attached to your account. So, if your phone is stolen, that ESN number is still attached to your account…thus making your phone pretty useless to the thief. However, most people can’t go a few days without a phone. As soon as you go buy another phone and have it activated to your account, that ESN number of your old phone is removed. Thus making it available to be used elsewhere. The phone carriers are useless when it comes to tracking stolen phones. They don’t track a stolen ESN after you’ve removed it from your account. So, in most cases, a thief just has to wait a few days for you to go buy a new phone and they can go activate your phone on a carrier…or sell it. And let’s face it, iphone’s aren’t cheap, so your thief has incentive here to wait you out.
- Another important thing to know: if you have an iphone, download ‘find my phone’ ASAP. It’s free, and if you’re lucky, you may be able to track down your stolen iphone. It’s pretty amazing. It also allows for you to lock your phone remotely, send a message to the thief, play a loud sound when you activate it, and also completely wipe your data from the phone. The only problem with track my phone, which we have been dealing with, is that in order to work, your phone must be on! A good thief knows to turn off your phone. But if you’re quick and notice it right away, you may be able to track it before they have time to turn it off. If the thief is quicker and smart, they can also turn off the ‘find my phone’ app. Time is of the essence here.
Well, as soon as Josh got back home from his trip, we activated the remote lock feature of find my phone. Because it had either died or been turned off, we couldn’t track it. However, ‘find my phone’ will send you an email as soon as the phone is turned on and connects to the internet. He filed a police report and we spent the night feeling sick to our stomachs. Once we found out that to replace Josh’s 2 month old iphone would cost $750, we decided to play the waiting game for a little while. This is a luxury we know most people cannot afford…and the only reason we were able to function this way was to kick Josh’s sister off her phone so Josh could use her phone line. So, we had his iphone still connected to our plan (ESN number not able to be used by anyone else) while Josh used his family’s plan for a dumb phone (aka non-smart phone).
Well, we had a break in the case exactly one week and one day after it was lost/stolen. We were in California driving from a friend’s wedding ceremony to the reception when for the probably 200th time, Jessica tried calling Josh’s phone again. This time, it started ringing. This instantly told us that someone had either found the phone and had charged it to turn it on to see who it belonged to, OR it had been stolen like we suspected and the thief had finally decided to turn it on. Well, we’re in the car driving…and freaking out. We didn’t have any way to log on to see where the phone was. So, we called Josh’s dad up in Minnesota and asked him to log on. Once he did that, we found that phone was in a residential neighborhood in Denver. BAM! It was officially stolen. We had screen shots of the location and immediately sent them to the detective on our case. He had asked to be notified as soon as we had any leads. That night, when we got back from the wedding, we logged on ourselves and found that it was probably in a garage or car in a particular neighborhood. Josh was on an adrenaline rush and immediately started looking up the names of the owners of the 4 house radius we had. Here’s the kicker…ready? One of the first names of the owners just so happens to be the same first name of the driver of Josh’s shuttle that night. We immediately let the detective know and had to calm ourselves down. It was officially the weekend, and we just couldn’t expect this detective to drop everything and drive down to the neighborhood. Course, we also knew that the phone could be turned off at any moment and we’d lose the live GPS location…which is what happened a few hours later. We had the live GPS location for 24 hours…and we’re assuming it was turned on, and left on until it died.
Exactly one week later, we were at home, when Josh received another email that his iphone had been turned on. This time, it was in a completely different neighborhood in Denver. We dropped everything and drove up to Denver. We contacted the local police and when we had parked a block from the house, we called for them to meet us. It took them 45 minutes to finally get two cops to have time to come, and as soon as we showed them our GPS location, the phone turned off! Literally, within the same 15 seconds they left to go to the house it turned off. Well, no one answered the door at the house. They came back and told us they’d try again later. So, with our adrenaline finally slowing down, we thanked them for their time and left. We turned down one of the street the house was off of, and three SCARY looking guys were walking away from the house. And get this…one of them was holding, but kinda concealing what looked to be an iphone. Pretty ironic. We immediately turned around and found the cops still sitting in the street where we left them. We told them, and they told us they just can’t stop random people on the street. And, what would prove to be the end of our sad saga with no happy ending…the cop looked Josh in the eyes, and said, “You do know you’re in the hood, right?” Enough said Mr. Policeman, enough said.
We gave up that night. Josh now has a brand new iphone. We’ve learned a tough lesson that most people are not ‘good, trustworthy’ people when left to themselves. We can’t say we didn’t try, and we definitely gave the thief/thieves a chase.
**Update 5/13/12: We got an email from the detective from the case asking if we could identify the guys we saw walking away from the house that day. Nothing came of it, because of course we couldn’t, but makes you wonder why he asked… Also, we have been hearing that the phone carriers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc.) are working together to create a list of ‘stolen’ phones so they cannot be activated if reported as stolen. Definitely, a step in the right direction. Just a bit too late for us.
Well we had a pretty cool night. Josh and I wanted to go to the Lady Antebellum ‘Own the Night’ Colorado Springs tour show, but had a hard time justifying paying so much for tickets in December. Let’s face it, there are lots of other things competing for our money in December. So, we didn’t buy any…especially since we had just seen Keith Urban in Denver.
Josh’s friend, Adam, is Lady Antebellum’s videographer. He and Dave (in Lady A) are childhood friends. Lady A asked him to make a few videos before they were signed. Once they got signed, they hired him on as their videographer. So, he gets to travel with them while they are on tour. He makes the behind the scenes videos that Lady A posts weekly. Cool job, eh? Thursday morning, Adam connected with Josh and invited Josh to head down to the Arena, where the show was going to be at to hang out. Adam took Josh all over backstage showing off their stage and video systems. (Lots of fun videographer stuff I guess) Not only that, but he offered us free tickets to the show that night. Awesome! We were so excited!
On our way there, Josh decided it couldn’t hurt to ask if there was any way we could get a picture with Lady A. Well Adam hooked us up with ‘Meet and Greet’ passes. So, while the opening acts were performing, Josh and I (and about 30 others) were taken to a room backstage. We were given ‘the rules’…aka…we will take you out if we see you use any kind of recording device…and then Lady A came out to chat with us. Some of the questions revolved around Hilary’s new puppy (Hobbs, a golden doodle), her secret wedding date, Charles’ and Dave’s love of whiskey, and their passions outside of music. They then played and sang ‘Just a Kiss’ for us. After the song, we all got to take pictures with them. Our pictures were to be posted online two days following the concert. However, about 10 minutes into the concert, we found that our picture with Lady A had made their official twitter & Facebook page. This was Hobbs’ first photoshoot.
Pretty fun. We left the ‘meet and greet’ and went to find our seats. Um…front row, closest to the stage seats? For us?? Yes, please! The only way we could have been closer was to stand the entire concert and be claustrophobic with masses of people…and that is NOT my idea of fun. We literally think we had the absolute best seats in the house. The concert was a lot of fun and Lady A did a fabulous job. Thank you Adam and Lady Antebellum for the tickets and an awesome night!