A Twitter user lost his phone while commuting from work to home. He tried to catch the thieves, even tried to follow them but failed, so he went to seek the help of the police. They ensured him that they'll do their best to get his phone back and insisted on not filing an FIR. And the whole scenario turned into a tale of a lost phone that went from Bengaluru to Bangladesh - just because the journo trusted the police. He shared this ordeal through a series of tweets.
On the night of June 10, I booked an Ola Auto to go home after a long day at work having covered the Rajya Sabha election. I got into the auto from my MG Road office at 10.54 pm. The phone was in my hand as I texted my family members and checked unread WhatsApp messages.— Bharath Joshi (@bharathjoshi) July 28, 2022
A few minutes later, near the Bible Society, two young men without helmets on a two-wheeler came dangerously close to my auto. Before I realised, the pillion rider snatched my phone and the vehicle sped away.— Bharath Joshi (@bharathjoshi) July 28, 2022
Shocked, scared, I asked my auto driver to chase them. The moped jumped the signal at Tonique & entered Kasturba Rd. I lost sight of them before Coffee Day Square. On a hunch, we went looking for them towards UB City. We even found a police barricade. Near Biere Club, I gave up.— Bharath Joshi (@bharathjoshi) July 28, 2022
I asked the auto driver to take me to the @cubbonparkps station. It was several minutes past 11 pm. The officers were polite and seemed keen to help. They made some walkie-talkie exchanges. Meanwhile, I used the auto driver's phone to call home.— Bharath Joshi (@bharathjoshi) July 28, 2022
At home, my sister-in-law checked the FindMy feature on laptop. The iPhone had reached the National College-Vani Vilas area. The police inspector arrived. I explained the incident. He advised me not to turn off iCloud & that I should keep them updated about the phone's location.— Bharath Joshi (@bharathjoshi) July 28, 2022
I had the phone marked as 'lost' on FindMy.— Bharath Joshi (@bharathjoshi) July 28, 2022
"Please do your process as per law. I really need my phone back," I said. I was asked to return in the morning with details - IMEI, bill etc. I sensed that the officers were hesitant about filing an FIR.— Bharath Joshi (@bharathjoshi) July 28, 2022
Throughout all this, the auto driver stuck around with me. He dropped me home (Kanakapura Road) and it was past 1 am. First thing I did was to check FindMy. The phone was in Gurappanapalya. I called the inspector, and sent him the location. "I'm sending a team right away."— Bharath Joshi (@bharathjoshi) July 28, 2022
An en route officer called me. I offered to join them. My brother and I went to Gurappanapalya, through its narrow bylanes, and managed to rendezvous with the police team. After spending some time there, the police said they'd come back the next morning to check local CCTV.— Bharath Joshi (@bharathjoshi) July 28, 2022
On June 11, I went to @cubbonparkps with all the details. I was still aghast with my phone being stolen. At the station, I showed them the location of my phone on the laptop: KR Market, then JP Nagar, then Arakere, Vijayanagar and finally Royal County Gottigere.— Bharath Joshi (@bharathjoshi) July 28, 2022
I went with the policemen to check CCTV footage on MG Road and Kasturba Road. In an arduous task of going through footage, we found Tonique's cameras had captured the speeding theives and my auto on their trail. Night-time footage meant vehicle number was blur.— Bharath Joshi (@bharathjoshi) July 28, 2022
Back at the station, the officers said an FIR will be a tedious process. I was made to believe that getting the phone back will be easier without an FIR. In my vulnerability, I did not insist on FIR, trusting the police. The location remained Royal County for several days, weeks.— Bharath Joshi (@bharathjoshi) July 28, 2022
Mentally, I tried to move on. "You'll be lucky if you get your phone back," friends said. I checked FindMy regularly. No update in the location. "Our team went to Royal County and found nothing," one officer told me. "We'll keep trying. Let us know the location as it updates."— Bharath Joshi (@bharathjoshi) July 28, 2022
At 16.41 pm today, I got an email notification: my iPhone was being erased. I had turned on the 'erase phone' option. FindMy showed the phone's location - 1,799 km away at Orchard Point, a shopping mall in Dhaka, Bangladesh, said to be the biggest used mobile market there. pic.twitter.com/tljSlNud3g— Bharath Joshi (@bharathjoshi) July 28, 2022
Sadly, this isn't an isolated incident. This happens all around the country, from people's phones getting snatched in an auto to policemen asking not to file an FIR and them agreeing to it in distress. Bharath also shared a few things he learnt from this incident that you can follow too.
Lessons:— Bharath Joshi (@bharathjoshi) July 28, 2022
1. Please be careful while using your phone inside an auto rickshaw.
2. Insist on an FIR.
3. Establishments should keep the right time settings. An MG Road camera had a different time stamp from the one at Kasturba Road, which makes life difficult during inquest.
After the tweets, people came forward to share similar incidents that happened to them and also criticised the authorities for Bengaluru's abysmal condition.
Experienced a similar kind in Blore,reported in police station but no use. I knew the gang but they split very much organized sending anyone into tizzy. https://t.co/2FWiCcURBv— ధృవ🏂 (@DhruvDen) July 30, 2022
One FIR and honest investigation would have busted the entire racket https://t.co/EWQ9wQ9hPQ— Prateek (@Prateek97396879) July 29, 2022
Bangalore to Bangladesh: a journey of iPhone, how organized crimes work. Don't think it's a small theft when it has international links. Do read this 👇 https://t.co/aYoJxAusG8— anquan (@AnquanAyyub) July 29, 2022
Hapened same with me years back found phone's Location in Haryana https://t.co/JZhYkf9BIn— Daddy Issues (@lostandhungryy) July 29, 2022
Stay careful while using your phone on road or in Auto rickshaws folks! Probably the 3rd phone snatching incident I’m coming across in the past 2-3 weeks. https://t.co/t8zeYZKtBt— Sravani M (@sravanii7) July 29, 2022
So, if you are travelling in an auto rickshaw, be careful while using your phone and if any such incident happens, always insist on filing an FIR.