What to do with a found iPhone? What would y'all do?

Found a fancy iPhone. No identifying markings. No name. Locked. Plugged it in (kid has Cult phone stuff) and it’s in a foreign language, and wants a pass code. I’m assuming that the owner is long gone, back home. Found it in a remote spot in a vacation area. Who would I turn it over to, anyway, and what would they do with it? I don’t see much point in having it sit in a rural Sherriff’s department lost and found box, with no hope of it ever getting back to whoever dropped it.

Can the Apple store find the owner? And would they take the time/expense to ship it to Europe or wherever? Should I take the time and expense to find an Apple store? 50 mile drive, minimum, for me. And I seriously believe if I handed it over to a “Genius”, he’d be all like, “Cool, man! New phone for me!”

Sell it on ebay “As Is” and let whoever wants it deal with it? Any way to reset it? Or should I just use it as a target for shooting? It’s about the right size for a .22 or .30 at about 50 yards. That would be kinda cool! But I suspect it has more value than that.

And Ideas?

Just because it is in a language other than English doesn’t mean the owner isn’t from this country. Why would you not turn it in to a local authority? What would you want someone to do if they found your phone? The owner may very well call around looking for it, you do not know otherwise. You did not just get a free phone.

Well, that’s the problem. Which “local authority”? Found in a remote-ish place. Depending on which direction you went, could be one of 4 counties in two different states.

What I have done in the past in such cases is hand the phone over to the staff at the restaurant, where the owner will presumably soon call to look for their phone, but it sounds like that does not apply in your case.

Another time, the guy’s personal documents were all over the device, including his telephone number, so I just rang him and he came to get it.

So if it’s an easily-unlockable model of iPhone (can your kid do it?), I would contact the owner directly.

ETA I have this idea that maybe the serial number and/or SIM card can be traced to the store which sold the phone and to let them deal with it, but I don’t know how easy that might be

You could have just left it where you found it. Someone may be around looking for it and now it’s really gone. If you feel compelled to do something with it hand it over to whatever local authority you can find. Was it lost in a park? Give it to the first ranger you see. If not, there is probably a Sheriff’s Office somewhere nearby, so drop it off there. It’s not your job to unlock the phone, invade their privacy, and track down the owner.

The owner of the phone may know exactly where it is, it shows up on a map if it has power and signal. Call whatever police is local to where you live and ask what to do. If it were my phone, I would have already given your address to the police, and I would certainly ask that you be charged with theft if you had used it for a .22 target, or sold it on Ebay. “Finders Keepers” is not a good legal defense strategy.

What police force patrols the area? Is it a park? A county? If you called 911 who would show up?

Of the side of a road, in the woods, partially buried in snow.

Worst game of Clue, ever!

Ah! Then I’ll dump it at Apple, they can charge it and leave it on, and problem solved! Somebody will claim it.

Of course it is not your job, and I personally would not make it my life’s work to unlock that phone. What I understood from the OP is that for some reason he was unable to contact the local authorities (perhaps they are known to be corrupt?) In that case I am merely saying I would at least make a token effort to contact the owner or the phone store, or put up a “found” poster.

Sounds good, like I said either the owner will GPS it or they can easily trace the owner since they have the sales records and account info.

So the power is still on, so it was lost recently. Is there a road nearby? Do you know the state and township? Where does google say you are at? What comes up when you ask Google for the nearest police. This is not 1975.

Nope. Was dead as a doornail. Partially buried in snow. On top of the last “Big snow”, but under the last “small snow”. Puts it there anytime from late December to second week of January.

It’ll go to Apple. Problem solved.

I think you’ve hit on the best solution. :skritches: to the pups

Taking it to an Apple sore sounds like a good idea. Here are some others:

I agree that is the best idea. Plus, you really didn’t want to use it for target practice, you would leave little bits of sharp glass/plastic and metal scattered around for the local wildlife to discover.

Get a loaf of raisin bread and toast some slices until they can stand upright. Set them up and try to shoot out the raisins. No worries about clean up, the local wildlife will be happy to do it for you. Tootsie pops make good targets too, but you don’t want to give the critters too much sugar.

A lot of the phones have a security feature where if you try to unlock it unsuccessfully, it takes a picture and sends it to the owner. So what you can do is write something informative on a piece of paper, face the phone towards the note, and try to unlock it. Write something like “I found your phone and turned it in to the ranger’s office. Call them at 555-555-1212.”

The top of the screen may show who the carrier is. Look next to the signal strength indicator to see if the name of the carrier is listed. Turn the phone in to one of their stores and they can find the owner.

If you have an Apple store nearby, they can also find the owner.

Most Apple and Android phones have security in place to where you can’t reset the phone if the prior owner has not released it. This makes a locked phone like that pretty much worthless except for parts.

If the owner set up emergency contacts, they may be accessible. Tap “Emergency” in the lower left of the passcode entry screen. Then tap “*Medical ID” in the lower left of the next screen. On my phone, that will get you, among other things, a list of my emergency contacts, with phone numbers.

When you can hit a Tootsie Pop, at distance, the critters got a lot more to worry about than diabetes. :wink:

If you just leave the phone on, someone will call sooner or later. Answer the phone and explain. It will either be the owner or someone who knows the owner.

The only catch is that by now the owner may have given up on calling the phone. But someone else will phone sooner or later.

I was wondering about this. Can incoming iPhone calls be answered without a pasword/code, etc?

Years ago, I fond a (flip) phone and a relative of the owner called and we arranged a meet to get the phone returned, They gave me a BW3s gift card for like $20, nice.