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Girlfriend lost her phone---Someone just sold it on eBay. Is there anything I can do?


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22 replies to this topic

#1 GBAstar

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 06:58 PM

A week ago my girlfriend lost her cell phone. It was an HTC One V and I didn't really invest all that much into it ($50 new at RadioShack; replacement MSRP is $149).

She remembers leaving it on a table at a local business and when she went back a few hours later no one remembers finding it. Within the next 24-48 hours we checked CL and eBay with no luck.

I always keep a few throwaway phones (phones I find on clearance for less then $10) in case one of use loses a phone or needs a loner. I ported her number to a cheap kyocera and then called Virgin Mobile to report the original phone stolen hoping that they could brick it.

The CSR said that because I called AFTER we ported the number to the new phone their was nothing they could do to the old one (I called about 5 minutes after successfully porting the number).

Over the next few days I kept checking eBay and CL until today I finally found the phone.

It had a distinguishable case on it but the seller removed that in their listing. They were however dumb enough to include a clear picture of the S/N (MEID DEC and MEID HEX) and they match the numbers on the original packaging which we still have.

The phone just sold yesterday evening.

I haven't done anything yet because I'm not sure if there is anything I can do. The seller actually has an eBay store with over 1,000 feedback. I was going to contact them but I figured they'd ditch the phone.


Is their legally anything I can do? I'm not looking to get the fucker in trouble I just want the phone back. My little brother has a best friend who is a local cop and I thought about contacting him.

What do you think?

#2 Malik112099

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 07:04 PM

Probably not worth the trouble.

#3 Access_Denied

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 07:09 PM

This may be a little extreme, but I'm so sick of being robbed that my reaction would be to contact the buyer and pay them a hefty sum for the address of the seller. You can leave the rest up to your imagination.

But if you're not the vengeful type, there's not too much you can do. Maybe report it to eBay?

#4 Arakias

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 07:09 PM

Why don't you link the listing and we can all harass the seller?

#5 GBAstar

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 07:10 PM

Probably not worth the trouble.


I was thinking that too except there are a few actions I could do which would require very little time.

It's just the fact that this person has an eBay store where they are selling all kinds of used cell phones so I'm sure this isn't the first phone they've sold which isn't legitimate.

#6 GBAstar

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 07:11 PM

Why don't you link the listing and we can all harass the seller?


I will eventually.

#7 batman1939

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 07:14 PM

Maybe if you filed a police report when it was first lost. If you still have the box with serial number on it I'm sure the cops could look into it. Maybe the ebay seller has does this before with stolen merchandise and they are already investigating him. But without box or receipt with serial I doubt anything could be done.

#8 yourlefthand

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 07:14 PM

Terrible idea

Edited by yourlefthand, 02 March 2013 - 07:42 PM.


#9 GBAstar

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 07:18 PM

Maybe if you filed a police report when it was first lost. If you still have the box with serial number on it I'm sure the cops could look into it. Maybe the ebay seller has does this before with stolen merchandise and they are already investigating him. But without box or receipt with serial I doubt anything could be done.


I have the original packaging that is how I knew it was the same phone (the S/N matches) and I'm pretty sure I have the original radioshack.com receipt.

It wouldn't be very difficult to tell, through her VM account, that the phone was registered to her (my girlfriend) account as recently as week ago.

I think I might contact the buyer (once they leave/receive feedback) and ask for the seller's contact information.

That or as the above poster mentioned I could purchase something from them and then request the information from eBay.

#10 sp00ge

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 07:40 PM

I'm guessing it's this one?

I would file a police report, and inform them that you have evidence that your phone was sold on ebay by this company.

Even if the phone was lost, I'm pretty sure the rule of "Finders Keepers" doesn't apply in a legal sense. The person who found it has an obligation to try to return it to it's rightful owner.

You could even try contacting them (after filing a police report) and inform them that the phone they just sold on eBay is stolen. If they refuse to cooperate, pass the evidence (proof of ownership, proof they were in possession of and sold a stolen item, etc) on to the police.

As far as the listing goes, I don't think they can have it pulled until the 30 days (or whatever it is) passes.

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#11 GBAstar

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 08:08 PM

Wow.

Good work. I know where that is. I'm going to stop by this afternoon with "my evidence" and see if they'll turn the phone over.

If not I might have to pull a Charlie (at 1:14)




#12 skiizim

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 09:24 PM

What sp00ge said was pretty spot on, you should go file a police report before you go and attempt to contact the business. You should probably take the packaging you were referring to and print outs of the listings as your proof. I think eBay has an option when you call regarding stolen items, don't they?

#13 kodave

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 11:07 PM

Your girlfriend needs to file a police report.

After that, then given the officer assigned to the case a link to the eBay auction.

The officer can then report the item as stolen to eBay.

Report > Prohibited and restricted items > Illegal items and encouraging illegal activity > Stolen property
"Reports of stolen property on eBay need to come from a law enforcement official. This reporting reason is for law enforcement and eBay PROACT members."

Just explain all of that to the officer assigned to the report. From there it's likely eBay will cooperate with law enforcement.

If you go the self-remedy route you're just going to be looking for trouble.


#14 slidecage

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 05:07 PM

i would not even want the phone back who know who done what with it .
WOOOO I STINK

#15 sendme

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 05:45 PM

I agree with the everyone else about the Police report. Take the box and if you can a print out of the eBay auction with the numbers you need. Show them that you have the box with the numbers and tell them the phone was lost and now is on eBay and show them everything. Then find out from the police if you should contact eBay about it so they can shut the auction down.

For future reference if this happens again just download plan B. It is free from the makers of Lookout. Or pay for and download seek droid. You can get a few more features from it. Run them to find the phone before you move the number to another phone. You wont get an exact location, but it will be close. Plan B can be downloaded after the phone is lost. Seek Droid I think has to be installed before it is lost.
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#16 granturismo

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 05:54 PM

The seller probably bought the phone off someone for cheap

#17 GBAstar

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:21 PM

The seller probably bought the phone off someone for cheap


Yeah here is a quick update:

Seller runs a crackerjack computer repair shop / buy, sell, trade store.

They allegedly bought the phone from someone off the street with the intent to resell it on eBay. Now how they didn't flag the item as being stolen is beyond me; it was sold to them without a charger and without the pattern to the screen lock.

Anyways I sent the eBay seller a message and he didn't respond so I went to the police. Before taking a report they looked at my evidence (I have the original box and receipt; both show the serial number which happens to match the one in the eBay listing) and said that I should talk to the owner when they reopened on Monday (Today) and see if they would turn it over sans a police report.

The officer said that all pawn stores in Maine must see an id before buying something and this business was required to follow those laws. He said most pawn stores don't want the police involved in their business so he imagined the owner would return the phone.

Well before today, prior to going to the store, I received an e-mail from the owner stating that he would turn the phone into the police and that I could claim he. He just asked that I provide him with some information as he planned to press charges against the person he bought it from.

I haven't got the phone back yet but it looks promising.

#18 shrike4242

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:46 PM

Makes me wonder if one of their employees is the one "loose" on the requirements for buying items from random people showing up in the store.

No charger + no screen lock password? That employee should never have bought it because that screams that the phone is stolen. No charger, that's one thing, though no charger + no screen lock password? I'd like to think no one is that stupid.

#19 sp00ge

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 07:04 PM

I'm glad it looks like things are working out without much hassle.


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#20 Strell

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 07:34 PM

The situation looks promising to you people? Yeah, I GUESS so, despite the incredible lack of power suit cops who act as judge, jury, and executioner while barely playing by society's rules, jetpacks, and laser guns.


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#21 WV Matsui

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 07:41 PM

Man this is promising! I wonder if the shop owner will end up in jail for child molestation!?!?

#22 skiizim

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 08:02 PM

I think them taking the phone might have been probably some of your doing since you did get the number ported. You essentially left the phone unlocked and when they checked the sim card they saw no activity on it.

They probably thought nobody was going to claim the phone, you should find out if the person that sold the phone works at the restaurant.

#23 Yamato

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 10:28 PM

Man this is promising! I wonder if the shop owner will end up in jail for child molestation!?!?


Ha.

I have this same phone.