So I lost my phone.
Or it was stolen.
It happened at my class reunion.
As soon as I got back to where I was staying, I realized I had no phone.
I tore my purse apart, looked in the car, and retraced my steps.
I returned to the restaurant, looked everywhere, checked lost & found.
My phonelessness was, at best, an inconvenience, but it also was a reminder of how much I rely on the darn thing.
Thank goodness, the next day, my sister reminded me about the Find My i-Phone app.
This amazing little app allows you to lock your phone, and then send your contact information in a message to the finder of the phone.
I shared my Mom’s phone number as my contact number.
Within minutes, I received an email saying the phone was located about 10 miles away.
Clearly someone had picked up my phone at the restaurant, taken it home, and it was “on the move,” to use cop language.
Any number of things can happen when a phone’s on the move, according to the police.
It can get sold, or traded, or some nice people might actually realize they have something that doesn’t belong to them, and they’ll call and return it.
I gave the police the address where the phone was located, and they made a visit to The Perp.
Yeah, we’ll call him The Perp to make this more interesting.
Unfortunately, it was an apartment complex with no unit number.
While I was working with the police and keeping track of the emails as the phone moved from place to place, my well-meaning friends and brothers called and texted threatening messages to The Perp.
“Look, we know where the phone is located. You can either do the right thing and call the number we gave you or you can have a little run-in with the cops. Your choice. Have a nice day.”
“My sister needs that phone. She’s flying back to Virginia today and I suggest you call us and give it back.”
My favorite ones were from my high school friend, who had been with me at the reunion.
“Hi, whoever has this cell phone, can you can call me? This is my friend’s cell phone and she lost it and really needs it back.”
So, she followed up.
“Text me a location so we can meet and I can get the phone back.”
“Look, we have an address from the Find My iPhone app. Honestly, if we can just meet you, you can give the phone back. No questions asked. I’ll get it back to its rightful owner.”
“Hey y’all! Are you going to give us the phone back??”
“It’s really too bad you have my friend’s phone and that you have zero integrity. The police actually have your address, but if you want to be honest and give the phone back to the rightful owner, please let me know. But, remember, the police have your address.”
“Are you ready to turn over that phone to the owner??”
I actually started to feel sorry for the thief…if he even was a thief.
(I’m trying to give The Perp the benefit of the doubt.)
After getting several emails with updated addresses, someone finally called my Mom.’s house where my brother was waiting to intercept the call.
Well, apparently, The Perp was the cleaning person at the restaurant. He found it in the ladies room, and took it home with him, you know, for safekeeping. He planned to return it to the restaurant on his next scheduled shift.
“No, we need the phone today, “my brother told him, “and you can either meet me now to give it back or we can send the police to pick it up.”
The Perp and my brother struck a deal and met in the parking lot of Sam’s Club.
This was all good news except that this meeting went down too late for me to get the phone back before boarding a flight home to Virginia.
So, my brother went to Federal Express to ship the phone back to me.
For the next couple days, I got emails telling me about my phone’s journey across country – Salt Lake City airport, Atlanta airport, Dulles airport, and then various stops along the FedEx delivery route.
I was scheduled to attend a conference in Southern Virginia and couldn’t leave without my phone so Doug tracked down the FedEx truck and picked up the phone from the deliveryman on his truck.
My phone had quite an experience going from that little restaurant to Virignia.
When I finally got it back, I made a video for my family of me tenderly holding my phone while Peaches & Herb sang, “Reunited and it Feels So Good” in the background.
Moral of the story? Get the Find My i-phone app or one that will work on your phone.
And, more important, have loyal friends and family to intimidate, harass, and pester the you-know-what out of The Perp.
And, don’t tell them The Perp probably never got their messages because the app locked your phone.
If you do that, they might feel silly and you won’t have nearly as much fun as I did when I got the phone back and listened to all the voicemail messages and read all the texts.