All's fair in love and war. OKCupid user Nadav Nirenberg showed his mastery of both when he caught the thief who stole his iPhone.
Nirenberg, 27, of Brooklyn, New York, left his iPhone 4 in a cab on New Year's Eve, and the person who found it didn't turn out to be a Good Samaritan. But Nirenberg realized the thief was using the phone when he got alerts from OKCupid, an online dating service, about messages he knew he hadn't sent.
Realizing that the thief was using his iPhone's OKCupid app, Nirenberg created a trap. How, you may ask? In a word: seduction.
The thief appeared to be using Nirenberg's phone to get dates, so Nirenberg set about creating another OKCupid account for fictional female, reports CNET. His express purpose was to lure the thief.
That's right: Nirenberg seduced one of his OKCupid profiles with another.
Nirenberg used a random woman's picture he found on the Internet, and included cute emoticons in his messages to fool the thief. It worked, and the two agreed to meet for a "date" at Nirenberg's apartment building. The whole trap took only a day to execute, according to New York's WCBS radio.
But while his date arrived wearing cologne and carrying wine, Nirenberg met him in the stairwell with a hammer.
After a brief confrontation, the thief, whose name is unknown, turned over the stolen iPhone. Nirenberg gave him $20 and then shooed him away. He's lucky that's all that happened.
An iPhone is a valuable piece of technology, and charges for stealing it could be more than just petty theft depending on state law.
Most state laws rank theft crimes based on violence and the value of what is stolen. The more expensive the stolen item, the more serious the charges.
But police can't magically discover potential crimes and arrest suspects. Someone needs to report the incident so officers can start an investigation.
Nirenberg lost his iPhone on New Year's Eve and got it back late on New Year's Day, so it's unlikely he reported the theft to police. Even if he had, the fact that he got the phone back with relatively little harm done would make charges unlikely.
Still, it looks like he won the battle since his iPhone was safely returned. It just goes to show, you never know who's on the other end of an online profile.
- Man uses online dating site to lure thief and recover stolen iPhone (Digital Trends)
- Boy, 8, Uses iPad App to Catch Tenn. Burglar (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
- iPhone Thieves' Nabbed by iGotYa! App That Snaps Their Photos (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
- Apple Crime in NYC Spikes 40 Percent (FindLaw's Blotter)