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Would You Return a Lost Cell Phone or Camera to Its Owner?

Last weekend I was out with my girlfriend and I happen to come across a lost cell phone on the street. She told me to just leave it, but my gadget intuition kicked in, and I couldn't help but take it home and attempt to reunite it with its owner. It was late when I got home, but I called the last three numbers on the recent calls list. I didn't seem to have much luck so I decided to wait, hoping that the owner would realize his phone was missing and call it.

Sure thing he called in the wee hours of the morning. We ended up meeting the next day and he was overjoyed that someone would take the time and effort to return his phone to him — he had expected it to be stolen or filled with expensive calls to China! I guess I consider losing my cell phone just as serious as losing my wallet because its filled with important data, numbers, and photos. And I would only hope that someone would do the same for me if they found my phone.

A young couple in NYC recently spent ten days trying to reunite a Canon camera with its owner, which was left in a taxi cab. After reading clues from the photos and videos on the camera, the couple was able to slowly unravel the mystery and return the camera back to its owner, who lived in Sydney.

I'd like to think this is a growing trend, but then again, it's not every day you hear stories like this. What do you think? Would you try to return a lost cell phone or camera back to its owner?


Join The Conversation
Tom2272061 Tom2272061 5 years
OK so 4 hours later nothing from good old Telstra, so I went back to the phone, and looked in directory, and found an entry "home". I dialled this from my home phone landline and to cut a short story shorter, it was the phone of one of my neighbours! Happy ending.
Tom2272061 Tom2272061 5 years
I've found a mobile phone on the street. It was raining so I brought it in. Just phoned the carrier - Telstra in Australia, Sydney. If you enter *#06# you get the IMEI # - the phone's ID number. Telstra (after some wait..) tell me that they will look up owner from IMEI #, contact them, then give them my phone # so they can contact me and get their phone back. I'll try to log back in on whether this works.. And before you ask - no it wasn't my camera that the couple found in NYC... ;o)
pink_magnetism pink_magnetism 9 years
I would try to return it. With a phone there's no excuse not to, it's easy to track down an owner when you have all their contacts! I had a friend though, who lost his phone. One of his female friends rang it, and the guy who had the phone was all "i could be him baby", "i'll give you a night to remember," and all this stuff. Especially funny since my friend is gay, lol.
paulincork paulincork 9 years
Hi - From experience I find that people are generally very good and we get lots of returned cellphones , as well as more unusual items. Good that the comments above reiterate that experience. I think the media pushes a negative perception of society - good news doesnt sell papers , but the reality is that people are decent.
shanimalcracker shanimalcracker 9 years
Oh gosh, I remember one time I left my phone at someone's house and when I got it back from her, I saw that she made a phone call to China! That's funny that the guy mentioned being worried about big charges since I totally understand that fear now! Some people have no morals or values...and no common sense if they don't realize people can see the calls that have been made!
i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 9 years
Well, I'm kinda a germaphobe, so I don't know that I'd pick the phone up at all. But if I did, I would try to return it. I would want someone to do the same for me, and I just wouldn't feel comfortable keeping it if I knew that I didn't do my best to find the owner.
khrystena khrystena 9 years
Of Course! my guy is forever losing his cell phone so we get ours back every time, we have to return others! the first thing i do when we lose them is call the cell phone company and declare it stolen, so we don't get crazy phone calls to china!
silly_pickle silly_pickle 9 years
I kind of helped someone, they left their phone in the movie theater, I took it out to the guest services desk for the to put in lost and found. I figured if I just left it in the theater someone else may find it and keep it. I know someone who left a phone in a restaurant and they called the contact marked "home", which was pretty decent of them.
Matdredalia Matdredalia 9 years
I can not even imagine what I would do it I lost my iPod or my Nintendo DS, as they are my "main gadgets". I don't have a lot of cash, and can't really afford to replace either (one was a Christmas present from my parents, the other was a joint present from my husband & parents for my 20th birthday), and I would be totally devestated. So, considering how heartbroken I would be without them....I can't imagine NOT trying to get a camera, phone, iPod, etc. back to it's rightful owner.
alanthiana alanthiana 9 years
I actually just did this about a month ago. I didn't call anyone though, someone called before I could. The owner lived down the block from me.
Marci Marci 9 years
I would definitely try to find the owner. Even when I find single earrings on the street, I post them on the Lost and Found section of Craig's List.
gonedelirious gonedelirious 9 years
that is a really good idea s0sarasaid!
gonedelirious gonedelirious 9 years
I have done this for several different things (cell phones, wallets, keys, etc) and I always try to find the owner. I don't remember ever losing mine, but my bf did and we called it and he got it back. Karma indeed. Also, y friend and I found a wallet at work, so we turned it in to security. The next day security called us down & the girl had given us a $25 giftcard to the coffee place. We didn't even look to see what was in it (I just checked her id to see if we knew her) but it must have been important.
s0sarasaid s0sarasaid 9 years
I left my brand new bright pink Nikon Coolpix camera in a NYC cab about 2 weeks ago, and I know I'll never see it again. Sigh. I've also left my wallet on the train up here, but someone miraculously returned it! I guess I need to take a picture of my business card and keep it on my next camera, in hopes that someone will return it...
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Wow all the way back to Sydney! Kudos to them. I would surely try to return an item, I've lost my cell phone before and it was never returned. :(
SummerBaby SummerBaby 9 years
a cell phone i would return, its so easy you just call people, but a camera would be a different story, how would you find the person who it belonged too... just look at pictures and walk around town looking for someone in the picture? i think that would be a little harder.. i mean it all depends on WHERE you found the camera if it was in a bar im sure you could find the person, but if its out on a street or something the chances of you finding the right person are going to be pretty slim
jessicaeden jessicaeden 9 years
somebody once did it for me, so now I always return the favor
QueenOfAllCosmos QueenOfAllCosmos 9 years
I found two phones in school and both times I called the parents (which is to me the most reliable person to call) and told them that they can find their phone at the whatever classroom I would be at or if the class was over to look for it at the lost & found. A camera, Mp3 player, DS, etc... Sadly I would just leave at the lost & found because I really don't have the time to look their rightful owner... :S
colormesticky colormesticky 9 years
I've lost a wallet and had it returned to me (with $700 cash inside!), and I returned a money clip with $300 in it. I know how it feels to lose something like that, and I know how much I appreciated getting it back. Damn straight I'd return it.
KuKi KuKi 9 years
i would return a phone but a with some other gadget it may be hard to find the owner so as long as its not running up someone else's bill i might keep it
Madamesoybean Madamesoybean 9 years
Absolutley! Photos are precious to people and phones have so much info on them...losing one is like losing part of your brain these days.
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