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[GUIDE]How to find your Android Device AFTER it has been stolen

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By maverick340, Member on 8th May 2012, 12:33 PM
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Well lets assume your android device has been stolen! Good lord !! . Not to worry, this guide should hopefully help you recover it. Even if its a thief.
PS: This contents of this read may bear resemblance to the reddit thread i created

A about two weeks ago (17th April to be exact) one of my friend lost his Samsung GT-I9003 from his dorm room at 0200hrs. Today when i was scanning my latitude, i saw him position a few hundred meters from me. Problem is, we are on a university campus. 500+ students, staff, kitchen, cleaning - basically lot of people. I suggested we check Google Latitiude's location history and sure enough for the past 15 days, the phone's location is spread all over the campus.

Premise of the crime
  • The phone is ON and is connecting to the Wi-Fi.
  • The phone is still tied to the primary gmail account and is thus reporting location.
  • The SIM has been removed or changed since the original number is now switched off
  • The person does not have good knowledge of using a smart phone (maybe helping staff)


Steps we have taken
  • Since we assume it is in the possession of either a student or helping staff we don't want to startle him.
  • Tried Plan-B on my phone. However the location it was reporting was the same as Google Latitude.
  • The phone does have Where is my Droid installed but the web interface says invalid email ID. So that option is ruled out unless you have pre configured Where is my Droid previously.



How we found the phone

After Where is my Droid failed us, we started looking for other applications. We found this application called Android Lost. Unfortunately we hit a dead end when we realised that it needs to be activated by sending an SMS. Since we dont know the phone number, or that there is even any SIM card in the phone, that application also seemed useless.But turns out the developer of Android Lost has also made a nifty app called AndroidLost Jumpstart which is can trigger Android Lost without the need of an SMS.
According to the description

Quote:

This app will wake up the registration process on the androidlost app when ever a phone call is made, an SMS received, battery is low, a package is added, removed or changed.

So we got android lost installed. Trust me, its a life saver. We got calls logs, sms, pictures, voice recordings. We tracked the person with the help of this.

Hope this helps anyone in the future!
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8th May 2012, 06:22 PM |#2  
okmijnlp's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick340

Well lets assume your android device has been stolen! Good lord !! . Not to worry, this guide should hopefully help you recover it. Even if its a thief.
PS: This contents of this read may bear resemblance to the reddit thread i created

A about two weeks ago (17th April to be exact) one of my friend lost his Samsung GT-I9003 from his dorm room at 0200hrs. Today when i was scanning my latitude, i saw him position a few hundred meters from me. Problem is, we are on a university campus. 500+ students, staff, kitchen, cleaning - basically lot of people. I suggested we check Google Latitiude's location history and sure enough for the past 15 days, the phone's location is spread all over the campus.

Premise of the crime

  • The phone is ON and is connecting to the Wi-Fi.
  • The phone is still tied to the primary gmail account and is thus reporting location.
  • The SIM has been removed or changed since the original number is now switched off
  • The person does not have good knowledge of using a smart phone (maybe helping staff)


Steps we have taken
  • Since we assume it is in the possession of either a student or helping staff we don't want to startle him.
  • Tried Plan-B on my phone. However the location it was reporting was the same as Google Latitude.
  • The phone does have Where is my Droid installed but the web interface says invalid email ID. So that option is ruled out unless you have pre configured Where is my Droid previously.



How we found the phone

After Where is my Droid failed us, we started looking for other applications. We found this application called Android Lost. Unfortunately we hit a dead end when we realised that it needs to be activated by sending an SMS. Since we dont know the phone number, or that there is even any SIM card in the phone, that application also seemed useless.But turns out the developer of Android Lost has also made a nifty app called AndroidLost Jumpstart which is can trigger Android Lost without the need of an SMS.
According to the description



So we got android lost installed. Trust me, its a life saver. We got calls logs, sms, pictures, voice recordings. We tracked the person with the help of this.

Hope this helps anyone in the future!

Or install Avast anti theft before your phone gets stolen ;D never the less, very useful, thank you.

Sent from my GT-I9100 using XDA
9th May 2012, 12:29 PM |#3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okmijnlp

Or install Avast anti theft before your phone gets stolen ;D never the less, very useful, thank you.

Sent from my GT-I9100 using XDA

yep always good to be safe before hand. After this incident lot of my friends have installed or gotten some security app.
Although, aren't security suite like Avast, McAfee and overkill for finding lost phones?
9th May 2012, 02:38 PM |#4  
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And who was the thief?

Sent from my LG Optimus 2x with xda premium app
9th May 2012, 03:03 PM |#5  
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another possibility is to instal Cerberus App
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8th January 2013, 04:53 PM |#6  
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Hi everyone. I have recently been the victim of theft for my nexus 7. I had the device locked with the pattern so there is no way that the thief could get into it unless they do a software reset from the recovery mode. The thing is, either way there is no way i would be able to recover it because if in fact they do a factory reset my lookout security would be uninstalled and my nexus would be lost forever, also if they can't get through the pattern and find a way to connect to Wi-Fi, it will still be lost forever. I have read about installing lookout in the system/app folder of a rooted device so its not easily uninstalled by normal means or factory reset. But do you think it is possible to have android lost and lookout pre-configured and installed in the system/app folder so that even if the device is factory reset, the credentials will remain?
15th February 2013, 10:18 PM |#7  
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is it factory-reset proof?
19th February 2013, 12:13 PM |#8  
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Just a quick little question: How did you get the phone to register on Android Lost? I can't get a friend's phone to be recognized in the web app, after installing the Jumpstart and another app...
19th February 2013, 02:17 PM |#9  
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Thumbs up Thank you
Very good contribution, gratz! i will follow your steps in case my android get stolen!
2nd May 2013, 03:50 AM |#10  
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How did it fail?
You say that "after Where's my Droid failed us"...what do you mean by that...how did it "fail"? I would like to know before installing it. What exactly happened that it "failed" you?

Thanks
18th May 2013, 11:16 AM |#11  
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Losing a phone is irritating
I lost my phone sometime back. I didn't have the time to do research and maybe these apps weren't available at the time of theft. I got the SIM de-activated and tried to track my phone via IMEI number.

So, a few questions

1. Have they changed its IMEI number ?
2. Have they removed my Google account ?

This pretty much messes it up. If you can't track it via IMEI nor can you use any network then its as good as history. These were the only remaining identification tags that could have got your phone back and the thief would know of it. The moment I called on my own number he switched it off. He logged into my account and posted crap(not that I knew any of it had it not been for my friend who reported some strange FB and Twitter status) as if it wasn't enough that he had my phone.

One of the most disturbing things that they can do is play with the IMEI. Older phones were more susceptible to that kind of thing but a Nexus ? P990 ? GT19100? I thought they were much harder to hack. Not only can you NOT track your phone but also lose all other alternatives because the phone is now linked to another google account. I was searching for a post that would walk me through a process of changing the google account currently associated with the phone. In an attempt to understand if this indeed was the case. I wanted to try this app so badly but now I blew it off, my only chance.

Hardware based identification is the only way to go about fixing this issue. Any low level process that runs off some hard coded tag independent of software control known only to the owner of the phone. I just don't know what other options are left with person who lost it. I think there is no other way.

Time for a new phone, I guess

Edit: I guess I was right about that. They had done a hard reset but the IMEI associated with my account is intact. So there are two ways of messing it up. One, you change the IMEI(which sounds ridiculously dumb). Second, you change the primary account(more believable). How stupid of me to think of the first one
Last edited by archicorn27; 18th May 2013 at 11:40 AM. Reason: Googled more info on that

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