Stolen Car Returned to Owner in just 7 Minutes Thanks to Lookout; Do You Have a Lookout Story? [GIVEAWAY]


What do you do when a gunman carjacks on your way out to get some groceries? You track the mother licker using your Android phone, duh! After having his car mercilessly snatched away from him, a quick thinking Android user realized his HTC Droid Incredible was still in the vehicle and running Lookout, the mobile security app that is typically used to find your phone if it becomes lost or stolen (it can also do a bunch of other things remotely to protect your data). When that phone happens to be in a stolen vehicle, it will lead the cops right to the goods, and it did. Droid does, my friends. Droid does.

[via ABC]

That  got us thinking, though: how has Lookout helped other people? Whether you just happened to lose your phone in the couch or your phone was actually lost or stolen and you were able to get it back thanks to Lookout’s GPS location features, has it saved your butt at least once or more?

Leave a comment below with your story and you could win one of 10 year-long subscriptions of Lookout Mobile Premium. (That’s a $29.99 value for each subscription.) A premium account goes above and beyond allowing you to blare a siren or locate your phone with great accuracy. If you need just a bit more security (perhaps you have some… “undesirable” pictures you don’t want the finder/culprit to see), Premium allows you to remotely lock and wipe your device, back your pictures and contacts up, and introduces advanced privacy controls and security simply by logging into Lookout’s website.


I’ve tested all of these features out in the free 30 day trial they afford you, and I was nothing short of impressed: even if you think you won’t ever need to use it, it gives you great peace of mind. (And those periodic backups and malware checks are nothing to scoff at.)

So tell us your story: how has Lookout Mobile helped you? Don’t lie: we’re not looking for the craziest stories and we’ll be selecting participants by random, but we love to hear how yet another Android app helps make your life easier and more worry-free. And if you haven’t been using Lookout, let us know of a time where you would’ve liked to have it. You’ll have until Sunday at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time to enter, so go ahead and comment below, and remember – you’ll need an existing Lookout Mobile account to be stepped up to premium if you win, so be sure to sign up for an account and download Lookout Mobile Security if you haven’t already! (And use a real email address when commenting, otherwise you get nada!)

Kevin Krause
Pretty soon you'll know a lot about Kevin because his biography will actually be filled in!

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  1. WIN!

  2. Very nice. Only concern is effectiveness on Galaxy S devices with GPS issues… On my Evo should work great.

  3. I don’t have a story, but thats why i’m here…to prevent from telling a story that could be bad…

  4. I have to have my phone with me at all times. I guess leaving that phone had a meaning.

  5. @ Fred, that could be a problem.

  6. In it to win it! I just downloaded Lookout after watching that story and feel 100x more safe with it.

  7. It’s been useful in terms of peace of mind from malware. Would be useful for backing up SMS etc between phones.

  8. Would have ended differently here, we are allowed to be armed. I’d know exactly where the sob would be, he’d be dead on the sidewalk. No app needed.

  9. Aha, so THIS is what it does. I’ll definitely have to try it for a month now, win or no win. I’ve ‘lost’ my phone for days at a time. I’ve lost the thing holding my phone. I’ve lost the wife and HER phone in a store, and she’s not answered it for an hour, while I wandered aimlessly.

    I still want that ‘LOOKOUT FOR THAT TREE’ app, though. :)

  10. I had an HTC Magic and i lose it on a shopping mall. I tried to negociate a reward sending a text, but after that, the person turned my cellphone off. sadly i didn’t know about Lookout.

  11. My wife lost her MyTouch last year. She swore she had left it in the car and I swore I saw her bring it in the house. We had spent a good part of an hour looking for it before I realized she had Lookout installed on her phone. I had turned her onto it when I downloaded it to my G1 and she thought it would be a good idea if she had it. We were both right!!! She has a habit of misplacing her phone. Usually, we just call it and find it. In this case, she had left it on vibrate. So, we used Lookout to find it. I was right…. she had brought it into the house and it somehow made its way UNDER the living room couch…lol. Thanks Lookout, you saved me a lot money, not to mention, a lot of bitching.

  12. what an amazing ad for us android users.. will encourage others to join us!

  13. I actually used it to help scare my brother. Hid my phone at his desk, wait for him to start doing his homework, I then text my phone to have it ring at full volume.

  14. I used to have this app on my BlackBerry; I now have it on my HTC EVO 4G. Absolutely essential. Even if your car doesn’t get stolen, if you lose the phone in the house or office, you can make it scream from the web site (not exactly a “program” as the news story called it), even if the ringer is silenced.

  15. I don’t have a story yet “knock on wood” but thanks to everyone over in the androidforums that pointed it out to me a few weeks back!

  16. @ huntken LOL imagine rollin around wit the cops and you’ve pinpointed the GPS location on top of a building and your car is nowhere to be found. Samsung GPS FAIL.

  17. All phones should have something like this standard.

  18. I have a story where this app could have saved me a lot of money and headache..
    A couple years ago I was at a college party and I was passed out when some dbag stole my car, my friends said they drove after him but couldn’t find him. So I actually knew the guy by association and called him the next morning and asked where my car was (which had my phone, $3500 stereo, several hundred dollars in cd’s, Oakley’s, and other items etc..) He said he had wrecked it and totaled it. And I was like well where is it? He said he didn’t know, so I called the police and reported everything. Had to go down to the station and file papers, this took a LONG time.
    Come to find out the guy never wrecked my car, and after about a week the police finally found my car parked at a soccer complex stripped of EVERYTHING inside it (except for my amp that was under the passenger seat). The guy got sentenced to prison and was supposed to pay me restitution for all my missing belongings, but I never got 1 cent, now he’s off probation and there’s nothing I can do about it. He’s been in/out of jail several times since but if I would have had this app, I could have gotten My car back WITH all my belongings!!!

    Of course back then I didn’t have a smartphone and Now I’m way more cautious about where I leave my keys!!!

  19. About 3 weeks ago I was in my college in my free hour. I was in the marketplace looking for good apps. And I noticed that Sprint recommended Lookout. When I read the description I tought that I would drain the battery of my Samsung Epic(faster than it normally does), but I downloaded anyway to see if it’s good and how much difference I would see in the battery life. After the last class I went to the Burger King inside the campus, and then went home. When I get out of the car I found that I left the cellphone at college(in my defense: I was sleepy and tired). I called and no one would answer. I remembered about the lookout “missing device” feature and went to their website. And the cellphone was still at the Burger King. I went back with my laptop and used the scream feature and I heard nothing. Then I walker around the campus using the missiing device feature on my laptop(thanks god for the campus wi-fi!!!) and about 200 away from the Burger King I found this girl playing with my Epic. She was joyful and happy to find a “lost” high-end device. When I said hi to her, and she saw the laptop, it was like she knew already that her joy would end right there. Then I said “sorry, but did you find that cellphone around here or it yours?” and at least she was sincere and gave it to me. Later I tought why I did not use the screaming feature so I could see her freak out hehehehe. Thanks Lookout!!!

  20. Random num gen stop here!

  21. Seems like a great way to keep tabs on the kids. Especially since it does not require the GPS to be on to give you a rough location via the cell towers.

  22. I think i’m going to try this. I don’t have a story about Lookout, but I do about “where’s my droid.” It sucks. Phone wasd stolen at gunpoint…and while the app was installed and running, GPS enabled and the phone swipe locked…I still couldn’t recover the thing. I gave the police all the information, as well as tried to track it myself. No luck. Long story short, I shelled out $480 for a brand new Evo 4G…not happy. I saw the commercial for Lookout Mobile Security, and scoffed. I wasn’t going to try another mobile phone recovery app after that bad experience..but now I’ll definitely reconsider. ;p

  23. My sister-in-law just lost her Android phone in a Chicago cab. No recovery app on it, sadly. That was a real wake-up call for my wife and I! I’m on my way to research phone finders right now.

  24. Downloading the basic version as I type this. Hopefully won’t ever have to use it, but after having a friend lose his Droid (yes, it was a Droid, not just an Android phone I am referring to as a “Droid”), I would freak to have the same issue. I have Where’s my phone, but sounds like this will replace WMD as mypreferred app.

  25. @bill, I can appreciate your sentiment. It really is too bad that the law abiding citizens of NJ are not allowed to defend themselves properly. Make sur you get out there with supporters and fight as hard as you can for your rights.

    Armed in CT

  26. My girlfriend just lost her phone in a Milwaukee cab. No recovery app on it. Need one!

  27. My Gf always looses her Evo somewhere. And she already got robbed once. This would be an awesome thing for her to have.
    I already have a lifetime with WaveSecure :)

  28. Honestly, even with the limited features of the free version, there’s no reason NOT to have this awesome app on your phone.

  29. I have used the scream feature and backups, but I’d really like to have the ability to do a remote wipe of data. That will be even more important next year, when phones have nfc chips and can be used as payment devices.

  30. Time to research phone finders!

  31. im the most forgetful person in the world so when i heard of this app i got it and all i could say is that it has saved me about a dozen times … its great

  32. I wanna win

  33. Well, I’ve never used Lookout before today, but I did lose an old cell phone a couple of years ago. Now, that I’ve updated to a smart phone (an Evo 4g) and I’d rather not pay a deductable for another replacement (it’s more expensive for a smart phone!)

  34. It’s a great app that I’ve had for quite some time, but my concern is this: How do you prevent a thief from uninstalling Lookout from your phone? Granted, most thieves aren’t all that bright to begin with, but as popular as the app has become it would only take someone a few seconds to uninstall it and then they’re good to go. Perhaps the Android OS doesn’t allow this right now, but I think you should be able to enter a password upon installation that has to be keyed in again to authorize an uninstallation.

  35. Oh, and my wife totally had her RAZR stolen a couple years ago… Granted, it only took a $50 deductible, but still… I was so mad! I’ve yet to need to use Lookout to find my phone, but I feel good knowing I can when I need to.

  36. @elijahblake

    never mind the fact at the beginning “A couple years ago I was at a college party and I was passed out ”

    if you go somewhere, with the keys to all those possessions in a car (not best place to invest $3500, i did it once myself admittedly). those keys being in your pocket, and you make decisions which lead to you passed out

    this could have been avoided and no phone app would have saved you bro, you were “passed out” by the time you realized what happened the car was already being gutted

  37. I just realized I said “granted” in both of my previous comments. I guess I need to rethink my phrasing… granted, it’s not that bad… but yeah. :P

  38. Sigh… the robber just had to be black!

  39. Gotta love Lookout! Has come in handy on a couple of occasions already on my Droid!

  40. on vacation last summer, my 5 year old daughter had been playing with my phone while we were out adventuring and wandered off, we were panicked until I remembered the “siren” mode, we were able to track her down in about 5 minutes, im just so glad she kept the phone with her.

  41. I have had my phone stolen by a co-worker at my part-time job. I had texted the phone in hopes that it was actually just found and not taken. After a few texts I received an answer. Once I realized someone had taken it the first thing I went on to do was to tell them that I had talked to security and they reviewed tape and saw only this person and one other 65 year old employee go in the vacinity of where the phone was taken from. SO he knew I knew who he was. Next I told him that the phone that he had would be nothing but a paperweight by morning since I worked for VZW and was going to shut the thing down.

    So after a few FU’s, you are the one that lost the phone and a finder’s keepers text messages he finally decided to give the phone back. I told him to leave it at Customer Service the next morning. He never showed so then I decided to do some more research. I found out he made a call for a taxi at a certain time and found out I could have the police call the taxi company and find out who called and where they were dropped off.

    I knew that there were other employees who knew this guy so I decided to put up a letter to this person all around the store. Basically I wrote that I had now lost a $400 phone, over 800 family pictures, 1000’s of songs and now had to pay for a replacement. I included the taxi information and the video information as well.

    Obviously, someone knew him and told him about the letter and the damning evidence as he never showed back up for work again.

    It is too bad I did not have Lookout at the time. If I did i would have loved to have the cops pulls a Bad Boys and bust into the house and nail him for his idiotness.

    Here’s hoping I never have another story like this… especially when I win one of these subscriptions.


  42. I have it on my Backflip and Blackberry. Love it! Great App!!

  43. here’s a free solution.

    login and use latitude on your android phone.

    if its in a car while the car gets stolen, track your phone/car with another android phone, or even any computer with a browser and internet connection.

    Google Latitude is a free app

  44. @Chad…that’s why you password lock your Android, so people can’t get in and delete apps or see your personal contacts, use the phone, etc…

  45. A month ago my girlfriend accidentally left her phone in the back of a taxi. We called it and called it, but no answer. Then we remembered that she had Lookout installed on it. We fired it up, and sure enough, we could see where it was. We did a good search of nearby businesses, and found that it was right at the taxi’s dispatch waaaay up in Harlem (we’re in Brooklyn). I decided to go for it. I jumped on the subway, and an hour and a half later, I was at the dispatch office. I went into the office and talked to the manager who said that no one had returned anything. I emailed my girlfriend (who was at home), and told her to activate the “Scream” feature, while I went into the lot with the manager. Sure enough, we could hear it through the closed cab. It was in the car’s GLOVE BOX! The manager apologized and promised that the driver would be reprimanded. I went home feeling good that I’d retrieved my girlfriend’s phone, and probably earned some serious points along the way. =) Thanks, Lookout!

  46. I kind of have a story… Not a lookout story though. I am a Highschooler and too broke to pay right now! Haha.

    For now im using “Wheres My Droid”, mostly because I like to put my phone on silent for school, and I forget to take it off.

    A few weeks ago, I was in Lifetime activities, where we have to change into workout clothes. I came back into the locker room and my phone was gone. Someone stole it from my locker. I remembered that Wheres My Droid has a GPS Feature, so about an hour after school, I used it, knowing that the kid would probably be home by then..

    Sure enough I went and knocked on the door and it was the mom of some freshman at my school, I asked her if her son was home, and I told her the story. She freaked out on him and he of course admitted to it.

  47. My coworker lost her phone today. If she had lookout she would have realzed she left it in her car.

  48. Found it very useful for when I leave my phone on vibrate/silent and can’t find it.
    Though doesn’t have remote lock/wipe on the free version, I still find it a better & more stable alternative to F-Secure.

  49. Lookout is one of the several apps I have on my Incredible. My phone is almost always attached to my hip and I don’t like it when it’s not within reach. I’ve misplaced my phone a few times and couldn’t find it and use Lookout. It’s really part of what keeps me from stressing about not knowing where my phone is.

  50. I can see this coming useful simply for the times when I can’t figure out where my phone is.

  51. in case my daughter misplaces my phone.

  52. Sounds good for my Dell Streak when I buy one.

  53. At my place of employment, we use a Droid Incredible as a emergency pager for our monitored server farms. One day one of my peers left it on the commuter train. Luckily I had lookout on it and we were able to watch it travel through San Francisco and back to Berkeley. All the time we are hitting the scream button and texting it. Finally a kind soul found it and we arranged to pick it up. We are seriously thinking of buying the premium service for it.


  55. This is the second story I’ve heard about where Lookout triumphs, there may be more. Good publicity for Android. I haven’t heard any stories of that fruit phone achieving similar results…

  56. The big flaw with Lookout is that it can easily be uninstalled just like any other app.
    There is a solution though. Install ES Security Manager from the Market. Use it to password protect Lookout, Settings (so they can’t kill the Lookout or ES processes in the background, Market (so they can’t get another task killer), and any other apps you would like to protect.

    Lookout (or a similar app) is vital. It does need to be improved to be any good against smarter thieves though. Thankfully most thieves are stupid.

  57. I will install this. Only concerns on this tho, my battery only lasts for just over a day, if it’s near flat the phone will will go off. The other thing, a thief could remove the battery. When charged by them, they could boot it into recovery mode and do a factory reset or whatever via usb?
    Hopefully most thieves are thick as a brick and don’t know these things.

  58. I work in the wilderness in the middle of nowhere in SoCo. When hiking one day the pocket with my Droid ripped on a rock, unbeknownst to me. I realized my phone had fallen out about 20 min later. I used my co-worker’s droid to find it with the gps locate and then figure out what rock it was near with the scream. Great app, saved my phone and me from a heart attack.

  59. mobile me for android.. like it…

  60. I got the same problem has TJ, if I’m not connected to a power supply, the GPS system will drain my battery in a few hours :(, even with 3G it will not last that long…

    But its a great application :)

  61. Battery isn’t that big of an issue. Just because you have lookout doesn’t mean that your phone is constantly running gps. GPS only kicks in when a program activates it. So battery life is not that big of a deal. The only thing that could be a problem is someone stealing and turning phone off. Good thing is most people that steal a phone will try to use the phone at one point and this is the time to run lookout. You just have to get lucky.
    I installed lookout and hope I never have to use it, but if I do I feel a little better having it on my phone.

  62. My lookout story begins with me waking up to what I thought was my phone gone. I panicked, thinking that it had been stolen or even worse, I left it somewhere. I tore my house apart looking for it, thinking, oh no, the battery is dead so there is no way to call it! I am frantically searching every desk drawer, clothes hamper and even the toilet! I then remembered I had lookout installed on my phone, and while I didn;t have the premium version, I did have the free one installed. I immediately turned on my computer and went to the website. I typed in my information and voila! there it was, showing right in my vicinity! I thought, how is this possible, i thought I left it somewhere! I lok out in my car, underneath the seat, in the WAY back, and boom! there it was! I was SO happy and can;’t thank lookout enough for the help!!

  63. This morning I just lost my phone after dropping my son off at nursery school. Not sure where I left it I went to the lookout website and saw that my phone was some where near my house and remember that last time I used it was in the car, so I made it scream and sure enough it slipped out of my jacket pocket under my car seat. Thanks lookout

  64. I have never lost my cell phone in the nine years since I bought my first one, BUT my wife loses hers all the time. She could really use Lookout, in it for HER to win it :)

  65. I have the free version of Lookout, but would LOVE to have the ability to lock, wipe, backup and scan for malware! Lookout is one of the first things I demo on my phone when someone wants to see how my Droid works :-)

  66. Great story. I hope I never have one like it, but I’ll add Lookout, just in case, to my phone and my wife’s phone!

  67. I haven’t lost my phone, but I like the app for the other features.

  68. I left my droid in the bathroom one day at an old job. I realized it about 30 seconds after I left it and went back to get it. It was gone. I knew someone had taken it since it was in the mens bathroom. I asked a bunch of people and no luck. So I decided to try this lookout program I had downloaded the 30 day trial for. I turned on the scream and walked around the building listening for it. I found it in another company’s office, not because of the screaming itself, but because of everyone in the call center yelling at the guy to turn it off. Needless to say I got the phone back and lookout has definitely made itself a quality program in my eyes.

  69. I have something similar installed on my phone, and it’s name is Prey. It’s free and it’s open source (take a look at here

    I installed that on my laptop and phone in case something happeded just like that guy had in the news. It won’t be hurt if I can win one of 10 year-long subscriptions of Lookout Mobile Premium.

  70. Winna winna chicken dinna!


    While I understand your perspective I don’t think your statement helps build your case…


    I don’t know if you’re quoting a movie or something but…

    I’m White and I’d rob your ass :)

  72. Lookout help me wipe out viruses from my girlfriend’s phone after I used it to watch internet porn.

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