helicopter

If your Android device got stolen from your hands walking down the street, what lengths would you go to in order to recover your device. While some of us may take the loss and go through insurance for another one, one man did not want to let someone get away with his prized possession. In Palto Alto, Calif, one man thought he could swipe another's Android device on the street and get away with a free phone, but little did he know the owner would go to extreme measures to get this device back.

The local police got involved, along with a helicopter in an all out search and rescue mission for this device, which some may think is a bit extreme, but hey would you want to willingly hand all your personal information over to some stranger? Shortly after the search began the person was tracked down and the device returned to its rightful owner. Safe to say that Android devices mean more to some people then their wallet or car. Thanks Ben! [San Jose Mercury News]

 

Reader comments

How far would you go to get your Android device back?

20 Comments

"The suspect is described as a slim black man between the ages of 16 and 25 with a thin mustache. He was wearing a black or red shirt, dark pants and green earrings, Nielepko said. Anyone with information regarding the case are asked to call Palo Alto police at 650-329-2413."

Great description, I am sure you will find him.

It's not a typo. It's a sad fact that many so-called "journalists" today don't know the difference between a reference to time (then) and a term of comparison (than)... like the constant missuse of "your" & "you're" and "there" "their" & "they're."

People who write for a living should have a grasp of the language. It is, after all, how we communicate.

I could have sworn this story came out a few days ago and had something to do with an unreleased Motorola device being taken.

So I guess the moral of this story is that when somebody asks to borrow your phone, you say no. Might come off quite rude though lol.

Cute story - poor reporting.

In the source link it clearly states, "Nielepko said a responding police officer spotted the suspect at El Camino Real and West Charleston Road and chased him on foot until he managed to escape through a condominium complex at El Camino Real and El Camino Way."

Not that as the above states, "Shortly after the search began the person was tracked down and the device returned to its rightful owner."

There is more than just the value of the phone itself to worry about. There are accessories, and MORE importantly, DATA. Could be a lot of very sensitive data on the device, from credit card data, business contacts, contract data, etc.. Remember, these devices are no longer like cell phones of the old days, where we only make calls, these are full on data devices, which people conduct business on. They can be almost as valuable as laptops, if not moreso these days. The potential for loss could be in the hundreds of thousands in some situations, if it fell into the wrong hands.

Sorry, that reply was meant for the post below, not in response to your post.

Cost of getting a new phone, assuming you have the warranty that covers theft on it...a couple hundred.

Cost of a manhunt with a chopper...a lets say 3-10 thousand.

Wasting tax payers money with a vague description and something (Phone) that can't be seen from the air? Priceless.

I mean really if it was a car or something sure....the damn device is at most worth $600. When you factor in fuel, prep of the chopper, manpower for the hunt, dealing with air traffic control, etc. I could easily see cost being in the double digit thousand range....for a phone.

As the article states - the sheriff's helicopter was in the air doing routine work - heard the call over the radio and offered to assist. It was not brought in specifically for the call.

My stolen incredible cost me $425 to replace plus the cost to get my case, screen protector and 8ghost card back. needless to say I am not happy one bit.

The thief didn't present any threat according to the news report, so you'd be held liable if you did infact shoot him. CCW's are for defending your life, not your property.

Didn't see anything about the helicopter being a RC model in the news story... Sadly enough there doesn't seem to be any details of the 600mm class bird seen in the article's photo. Would love to see what role android plays in it's flight/video capture/flight logging.

I keep WheresMyDroid installed on all my android devices (free app). Most thieves are not going to know about it and is a very quick way to get the gps coordinates of your droid. Granted you are not going to have much time to track it, once the phone number is changed, system wiped etc. But in this case it would most likely have been helpful in recovering it.
I would pay money for a lojack root version that survives factory wipes and detects phone number changes.