Tracking devices and apps such as Apple’s Find My iPhone are great if you are looking for missing and stolen smartphones, but only when they work. Therefore, it could be a good idea to avoid visiting Las Vegas.
According to a story in the Las Vegas Review Journal, due to what it describes as a ‘glitch’ with one network provider’s cellular systems, people in search of their missing phones and tablets are all directed to the same place — a certain Mr Wayne Dobson’s house. Therefore it comes as little surprise that the retired 59-year-old is more than a little frustrated and upset by the fact that since 2011 he has been visited on numerous occasions by people accusing him of having stolen their handsets.
Sometimes it’s a woman pleading with him and telling him that he can keep the handset and that she just wants the photos of her grandchildren returned, but other times it’s groups of nasty men that arrive past midnight threatening violence if the handset is not returned and waving around a tablet running a tracking app that ‘proves’ that the missing phone is in Dobson’s house.
In a further twist, the problem is not confined to phone tracking apps. The police have been dispatched to his address on two occasions after their system incorrectly triangulated the coordinates of a phone used to call 911.
Dobson has now put up a sign outside his home that reads ‘No Lost Cell Phones!’ and advises visitors to call the police instead.