Stories of the Absurd: Victims of Cell Phone Theft Get the Last Laugh


For those who have ever had their cell phone stolen, you know the headache it causes.  Gone is all of the contact information for every person you know.  Gone is your calendar which tells you where you need to be and when.  Gone are your personal photographs and videos.  The only thing you may actually get from having your cell phone stolen is an enormous charge on your next bill for all of the calls the thief made before you could report it stolen.

For some though, a stolen cell phone is not the end of the world.  Some phones are recovered by good old detective work.  Others, however, are recovered due to the senselessness of the criminal who took it.  It appears some thieves haven’t quite caught up to cellular technology.

Stolen phones enjoyed – while victims watch

By Monica Hesse, Washington Post

Ashlee Hutchens, 18, stopped to reorient herself while driving through an unfamiliar Cincinnati neighborhood this fall. A young man swaggered over. First he tried to hit on her. When Ashlee, who is deaf, didn’t respond, he stole her cell phone.

Police said recovery was unlikely, so Ashlee’s mom, Christine, took her to buy another Sidekick. A few points and clicks later, and the clever new device imported the old phone’s memory. Including a tough-guy self-portrait of …

“She said, ‘Mom, that’s him !’ ” remembers Christine. “He’s even wearing the same shirt!”

The unintentional mug shot made its way onto the local Crime Stoppers broadcast. Soon police had a suspect in custody.

So, good. This is just the kind of hand-held comeuppance we expect from a synched society – and it’s happening around the world as personal devices get more and more advanced. The photo trails left by technologically unsavvy crooks are like the online Darwin Awards, like the schadenfreude of “Cops.”