It's a little after 1am East Coast time. I'm sitting in the airport in Phoenix waiting for my friggin' 12:30am flight to board. The key for these red-eyes is to dress comfortably for sleeping. And, I am.
It has been an "interesting" day for several reasons. Perhaps the single-most interesting thing that happened began first thing this morning...
So, I decided I wanted to go for a hike before the day got too far along so I left the house and stopped at a nearby convenience store for a coffee. Shortly after leaving I noticed that my phone was missing. That's when things got going.
I knew I had the phone when I left the house, so it seemed like a pretty simple thing that I must have put it down on a counter or something while I was doctoring the coffee and forgotten it. I've done that before. But I want back to the store and looked in all the areas that I had been and there was no sign of it. I asked the people who worked there - nobody had turned anything in.
So - back to the house I go (3 or 4 miles away) to use the Locate-My-Phone feature from my laptop. And - sure enough, the laptop showed that the phone was in the store. So - back I went. I looked everywhere in the area that the locator seemed to say it was but didn't see it. Hmmm....
Another feature on the Locator is that you can make it make a sound for two minutes, and show some text on the screen. Since there was no internet service in the store I told the guy who was working that I would go to the McDonald's a couple of miles away (they have free internet), send a signal to the phone, and come right back for it. That's what happened.
But when I got back he said he hadn't heard anything and there was still no sign of it. So, I decided to try it one more time. That's when things got more interesting...
I went back to the McDonald's to send it another signal, and lo-and-behold it's moving. It's on a nearby street, heading north. I sent a signal to the phone saying that I was tracking it and to please leave it, but the signal kept on moving. I followed it for 20 minutes until it pulled into an apartment complex. I could locate it right down to the specific parking spot.
I called AT&T to tell them about it and ended up "wiping" the phone. Once that happens you can't track it any more. I hustled down to the Apple store and got a replacement - I can't afford to leave here without a phone. Especially this week.
I called a friend about it who asked if I had called the police. I expressed my doubts that they'd do anything because even though I knew where it was I couldn't prove anything. But this friend said they'd be able to look at video footage from in the store to see who took it, and perhaps they could get a tag number on the car. So I called the police.
They met met at the store an hour later and I explained all this to them. I showed them the messages I had sent the phone, and I told them exactly what parking space in this apartment complex they pulled in to. The manager of the store had gone home for the day and would be back in tomorrow so we'd have to wait on the video. But the two officers said they'd go to the address and look around.
They found out what apartment coincided with the parking spot and knocked on the door. The person there acknowledged that they had been at the convenience store but denied taking the phone. But now that the police officer knows what they look like, he'll be able to match them up when he watches the video in the morning.
So, back to now. I'm at the airport with a replacement phone. I'm told there's a good change that the people who took the phone will discard it now that the cops have visited so I probably won't see that again. But we're pressing forward to see what actually happened, and we should have that in the morning. They won't need the phone as evidence if the video shows what happened.
I've got to say how pleasantly surprised I am about the response of the police. These two officers who responded were very nice, very thorough, and they followed through on everything. The called me a couple of times to give me updates. All in all - kudos to these two officers. They rock.