Man uses online dating site to lure thief and recover stolen iPhone

“Definitely a creative way to recover lost or stolen property, a Brooklyn man was able to get his lost iPhone back by using a fake OkCupid profile for bait,” Mike Flacy reports for DigitalTrends.

“Musician Nadav Nirenberg accidentally left his iPhone in a taxi on New Year’s Eve on the way to a gig,” Flacy reports. “After discovering that the smartphone was missing, Nirenberg attempted to repeatedly call his phone to connect with any person that may have found the Apple device. He also sent emails as well as left messages promising a reward if the phone was returned to him. After half a day of waiting for a response, Nirenberg came to the conclusion that the smartphone wasn’t going to be returned.”

Flacy reports, “On the following day, Nirenberg discovered that the person using the smartphone was sending messages to local women though Nirenberg’s personal OkCupid account.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Hmmmn…walking up behind a guy whilst holding a hammer? Well that’s premeditated and a legal no-no. So what was he going to do if the guy didn’t want to return the phone, or maybe it wasn’t the stolen phone in his pocket?

  2. the phone is lost not stolen. is it right to keep it? like finder keepers?
    any lawyer, please give some insight before I lost my iPhone and
    maybe ….. just maybe able to recover it and blame me or somebody

    1. As soon as the original owner of a lost property reports it lost or stolen, the finder can be charged with the possession of stolen property, especially if the actual owner could be determined with reasonable amount of effort (turning on a computer and looking for owner’s information inside, for example).

    2. The laws vary from state to state (and even within some states), but for the most part in the US, there is no “finders keepers”. The reason being that a thief could always just say they found the item… like car on the street or phone on a desk, etc…

      This happened in New York. In NY, under Section 252, if you find property worth more than $20, you have to either return it to the owner or to a police station within 10 days. There are exceptions for some places that have lost and founds.

      This is pretty common throughout the US. If you find something, you should probably leave it be. If you want to “do the right thing” consider whether leaving it where it is is more likely for the person to return and find it, versus someone else finding it and stealing it.

      If you find it at a restaurant, theater, etc… take it to the manager. If you find it on the street, take it to the police. I’d be careful though. On your way to the police, the owner may spot you and wrongfully assume you stole it and attack, or report to the police that you stole it.

      If you are taking something like a wallet, phone, or other possibly valuable item to the police, I would maybe suggest calling the non-emergency number for the police, and alert them to what you found, and your intentions of bringing it in to the station.

      Jurisdictions also differ on whether you can file a claim to obtain the property if it is never claimed by the owner. In some places, after a period of time, the finder can claim the property. In some cases, it’s destroyed, in some cases it’s auctioned or donated.

      TL;DR: “Finders/keepers” is never the law in the US. It’s wrong legally and ethically.

  3. I dropped my iPhone while getting out of the car to walk in to a restaurant. 15 minutes later a kid walks in to the establishment and asks me if I am driving a said make and model of car, I am guessing that he hit my car or something. When I acknowledge the fact he hands over my iPhone, which he found by my car. Very refreshing indeed. The phone is a 32GB iPhone 5 and it was in it’s holster completely protected and in pristine condition. There are more good people than bad ones, but with everything that goes on, we think otherwise. Karma baby. I have found wallets, cell phones and even money, that I have always returned to it’s rightful owner.

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