Police 1, Thief 0, Apple -1
We recently got a pleasant surprise when the police came knocking on our door. They recovered the Little Brunette’s iPhone that was snatched from her at a concert 6 weeks earlier.
To be frank, we did not expect the police to actually do anything with the stolen property report. We needed to file a police report in order to get Apple to remotely disable the iPhone; we did not want the thief to actually benefit from the loot. Therefore, we filed a report with the Antwerp police and sent a request by fax to Apple to have the iPhone disabled.
Yes, you read that correctly. Apple wanted the letter of request and police report sent by fax. Not email, with a scanned copy of the police report.
To a computer hardware and software company.
Being in a particular sector, one becomes familiar with all the warts that outsiders tend not to see. Consequently, one can become sceptical of the people, process or tools of one’s own trade, such as email with attachments, whilst being more open to trusting those of other trades simply because one is ignorant of their trade’s underbelly and inner workings. So, one finds ways to deal with potential pitfalls routinely seen in one’s trade: a fax, it was, within a week of the theft, to Apple’s Irish subsidiary that handles such matters in Europe.
The young thief turned out to be something of a half-wit and made it relatively straightforward for the police to track him down. The irony is that, if Apple had done their job promptly, the police would not have been able to recover the phone because a disabled phone would have been impossible to trace.
Now that the phone has been recovered, another fax had to be sent to the same Irish unit to cancel the original request.
Just in case Apple decide to act upon the original request.
Unlikely, but one never knows.