Have you ever had a phone stolen?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| Published: June 7, 2013

A couple of days ago, I was seated at a small table in a coffee shop, typing away. My phone was next to the computer, sitting idle. An older gentleman sat down at a table next to me, and I noticed that he kept taking quick glances over at me. Well, not at me, but at my phone. He'd wait a few minutes while he looked over the newspaper he had purchased with his coffee, and then glance at the phone again. As if he were making sure it was still there.

It was around the fourth or fifth time that I picked up the phone and put it on the other side of my computer. I didn't expect this guy to just get up and snatch my phone from the table, but it was definitely a strange situation. So I made sure that my computer, and me, were between him and my phone.

One of my biggest fears is losing my phone. I know it sounds weird, but it's the truth. I get a lot of things done on my phone, and my device serves a purpose in my every day life. Whether it's letting my daughters play games, taking pictures of them, or just having conversations with people I don't get to see on a regular basis, my phone is a pretty important part of my life.

So, the phone went on the other side of the laptop, and I went on my way typing words. After a few minutes the old guy walked over to my table and asked me, point blank, if I had ever had a phone stolen from me.

I asked him why, of course, and he went on to tell me that a few days before he had had his phone stolen from him, right off the table, while he was digging through his bag. It had happened so quickly that the man told me he could barely comprehend what had happened; and by the time he figured it out, whoever had taken it was long gone.

He told me that he had been looking at my phone because he couldn't believe I'd just leave it there for the whole world to see. Along with a pair of sunglasses and my watch. He though I was crazy for just attracting so much attention to these things, and then he walked away while I stared awkwardly at his back.

Sometimes, some people just want to have weird conversations with you. You just have to go with the flow.

But it did get me thinking. I've never personally had a phone taken from me, at least not that I can remember, but I know plenty of people who have. Whether they left the phone in their car by accident and then the vehicle was vandalized, or they forgot it in a restaurant and someone took advantage of the situation, there is always a moment long enough for someone who wants to, to take your phone.

My fear of having my phone go missing is one reason why I depend on the cloud so much. It isn't that I have a prejudice against microSD cards or anything. No, it's just that I'd rather have an external, (mostly) always accessible way to get to my important content, whenever I may need it. It's also because it's a safe way to make sure that stuff stays accessible, even if you do manage to get the device you took those images or wrote those documents with stolen, or you permanently misplace it.

It's also one reason why, if there's an option for it, I'll turn on the means to locate my phone from a computer. Sure, it's not the most fool-proof way to make sure that your stuff stays your stuff, but at least it's a step in the right direction. It feels good to have another layer of security in place, especially immediately after the fact.

I want to know what type of security you have on your phone, if you have any. Do you use location tracking services for your device to make sure you're able to find it at some later point, once it's already been removed from your side, or your pocket? But, I also want you to share your story about your stolen phone, if that has happened to you. How did it occur? And were you able to get your device back? Let me know!

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