Feb 1st, 2013

Alleged perpetrator

Android phones don’t exactly come cheap (okay, well at least not all of them), and when you lose one — or worse yet, it gets stolen — it’s right up there with one of the worst feelings in the world. Usually, you don’t have many options. You can only make a few phone calls or SMS messages to your lost or stolen phone and hope you can appeal to their better nature, but other than that — you’re out of luck. Even in the instance that you’ve installed some kind of security software to wipe, snap pictures, and/or send off location data, I’ve heard more than a few stories of police officers that didn’t get involved in the recovery of someone’s stolen property.

This is exactly what one Android user had to deal with after a few of his belongings (including his Android smartphone) were stolen a few days ago. Luckily he installed an Android application called Cerebrus, one of a few in the Play Store that can actually survive a full data wipe/factory reset (provided the user has root). In probably one of the most epic tales you’ll read in a forum, you can follow almost in real time the events that transpired. It goes a little something like this:

  • Victim gets phone stolen from his friend’s house by a burglar.
  • 3 hours later, he posts the story on a Overclockers forum with a pic of the suspected perp using a security app called Cerberus.
  • Further images are taken and posted of the alleged thief while using the phone, sleeping, etc.
  • Speculation arises whether the guy could simply be a buyer and is unaware the phone is stolen.
  • Victim updates thread with developments regarding police involvement. Up until now they’ve been a bit lazy, letting OP do all the detective work for them.
  • Speculation dies after learning of the alleged perp’s details, online dating profile, more pictures, etc.
  • Victim is contacted by the police who are now ready to move in on the perp’s location.
  • Victim gives play-by-play of police who are outside the perp’s door, awaiting door entry equipment.
  • Police bust in door, search apartment, can’t find the phone.
  • Victim sounds off alarm, police find the phone, victim updates and the entire thread goes nuts.
  • Police take phone as evidence.
  • Meme’s are created with the perp’s photos.
  • Cerberus comes through and delivers in spades.
  • Alleged thief released with a warning after telling police the phone was purchased off someone he had “bumped into.”

You can read the entire exciting story over in the original thread on Overclockers which, I have to admit, sounds a bit like the plot line to a movie starring Liam Neisen. I’ve said it before but the last thing you wanna do is steal an Android phone from an experienced user because we will find you, and we will kill you(r online reputation). Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be installing Cerberus onto my Droid DNA.

[via Overclockers | Reddit 1, 2 | Telegraph | Cerberus on Google Play]

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