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MoDaCo Summer Event 2005 C550 theft - SOLVED!


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Guest Paul [MVP]

I am very pleased to announce that the SPV C550 stolen at the MoDaCo Summer Event is now back in the safe hands of Orange... following some excellent detective work.

I would like to take this opportunity to expose the thief in our midst...

(obviously this user will be banned for life from MoDaCo... but I am leaving his account active for now in case he would like to reply to this post!) :)

I know many of you will be wondering how the phone was stolen, and how we tracked him down, so - I present to you - a short story by me!

Saturday 20th August, the day of the MoDaCo Summer Event...

Mono, Orange and Microsoft arrived early, and set out all of the stuff for the event... including the raffle prizes. The prizes were, foolishly it seems, laid out in the corner... footballs, kites, goodies and an SPV C550!

We are not entirely sure at which point the phone was stolen... but a number of people witnessed what appeared to be the C550 being wrapped in a cardigan and placed in a bag along with a couple of other items including an Orange football, and a kite that was apparently discarded.

At some point, probably prior to the raffle, the thief or his companion probably left the building, and took the C550 somewhere for safe keeping.

As those present at the event will know, when the theft was discovered, Monolithix (who should be commended for staying calm!) offered the thief every opportunity to return the phone with no comeback, pointing out the phone would be useless anyway as it would be blocked on all UK networks... but nobody came forward. Having spoken to 'cocky', he said he was afraid to come forward.

At this point, there was not a lot more we could do... we liaised with the staff at the Microsoft building, and determined that although there was no CCTV in the room, there was CCTV in the foyer.

On the following Monday, I contacted Orange to ask for the IMEI of the stolen phone so that we could conduct investigations, which Orange duly provided. I also investigated whether we could determine whether the stolen phone had been used with an Orange SIM (99% necessary if the thief unlocks the phone), and Orange confirmed that they could do this, albeit with a 1 week delay. This provided us with one possible avenue... although for Data Protection reasons, pursuing this route would have required the action to be taken with the Police.

I considered it very likely that the thief would have tried to unlock the phone... so armed with the IMEI of the stolen phone... I contacted the key players in the C550 unlock scene, Florin from IMEI-check and zone-mr from SPV-Developers.

Florin confirmed that the phone had not been unlocked with IMEI-check... however zone-mr couldn't confirm immediately, as he only retains an temporary backup of encrypted data from the phone, which he wasn't sure included the IMEI ;)

A couple of hours later, on Monday evening, zone-mr contacted me to let me know he WAS storing the IMEI... and we had a match! Our thief HAD unlocked his C550... at 10:30pm on Saturday in fact! Even better news... careful analysis of the server logs on the spv-developers unlock server gave us the IP address of our thief!

The next step was to find out as much information as possible about the thief. We determined their ISP and some other information, and thought about how to proceed. On an off chance that the thief was foolish enough to unlock the phone from the same connection they used to browse MoDaCo... I checked out the MoDaCo logs, and the MoDaCo sessions table.

Success!

Our thief was logged on, and the logs were full of the IP address in question... all pointing to one user.... COCKY!

Cross matching this address with the Event registration list confirmed that cocky HAD attended the event... and not only that... upon further consultation we determined that cocky was the person that witnesses had cast suspicion on.

The next step was how to decide how to proceed, armed with the evidence that we were sure conclusively led us to our thief. I stayed up late on Monday night and prepared a dossier of evidence, with excerpts from server logs, witness statements etc. to pass to the Police. After a late night... I decided to sleep on it before deciding how to proceed.

Tuesday came, and I decided that I was going to contact the Police... and spoke to both our contacts at Orange, and a contact at Orange security, about how to proceed. As the morning progressed however, I considered things more, and following some conversations I had with people 'in the know' - I decided to give the thief a chance, and give him a call on the mobile number he submitted in the event registration. The conversation went something like this...

Me: Hi, this is Paul from MoDaCo.

Cocky: Er, Hi.

Me: You have something of mine, and I want it back.

Cocky: So what do we do now?

Me: Do you still have the phone? Have you sold it?

Cocky: I still have it - minus the box. What are you going to do?

Me: I'm giving you one chance... send me the phone, via Special Delivery, today, and I will not go to the Police. I'm gonna ban your ass for life and expose you on the forum, but I won't go to the police.

Cocky: OK

And that was pretty much it!

A short email exchange followed, where Cocky had the cheek to question if he could trust me not to go to the Police (I told him I am a man of my word, and he really wasn't in a position to question my integrity)... and the phone arrived back at Orange today - it is now being checked over by their Technical team.

True to my word, I will not now go to the Police... technically the phone belongs to Orange, so were we to involve the Police, it'd probably be their call anyway... so that option remains up to them.

I'm very happy that we have the phone back, very disappointed that a member did such a thing, and very happy at how the community pulled together to find the thief.

We will be choosing a random attendee from the event to receive the phone when I am given the OK from Orange.... so watch this space!

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Guest inlinesk8a

lmaoroflolrofllmaolol

WHAT A JOKE

what about the guy who won the prize?

did you do the prize draw before you found out it was stolen?

*edits spelling*

(as usual)

Edited by inlinesk8a
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Guest vluther

Good work Paul.

Just a note.. I was on vacation when this happened, and I was awoken from my vacation for this..thanks a lot Cocky.. a big f u.

Next time, you should try to rig the raffle, and not just steal.. this is 2005.. low tech crimes don't pay :)..

::napoleon dynamite:: Gosh! ::/napoleon dynamite::

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Guest RazorD
lmaoroflolrofllmaolol

WHAT  A JOKE

what about the guy who won the prize?

did you do the prize draw before you found out it was stolen?

*edits spelling*

(as usual)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

*checks the other forum posts about the meet*

I'm sure he posted somewhere in amonst the "i hope you catch em" messages...

Anyway. Congrats on getting him guys :( Super news.

Edit: I bothered checking the other threads, and sure enough, he posted:

hope you get em

enjoyed the day very much

did any one understand when the m5000 is coming out either orange branded or otherwise...

really want this devic

hows the xbox going

You cant help but smirk now, can ya? :P

Don't worry cocky, we got em... :) ;) :( :D :D ;) ;)

Edited by RazorD
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Guest Paul [MVP]

Yes he did, and he also had the cheek to approach Mono directly on the day! ;)

P

*checks the other forum posts about the meet*

I'm sure he posted somewhere in amonst the "i hope you catch em" messages...

Anyway. Congrats on getting him guys :) Super news.

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Guest Confucious

Excellent news! Well done Paul. Can you post his address - I'm sure a few of the members would like to go and have a "word" with him.

Only kidding, he's not worth it. But that's fantastic news that you've got it back. Well done.

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Guest Pondrew

Good news at last. And well done to all involved in solving the crime (sounds like Zone-mr has advanced his knowledge along the way which has gotta be a plus!)

With regard the 'member' in question I can only say good riddance...

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Guest dazza12

Well done Paul and everyone involved in tracking this.

I have to say Paul, you've shown very good restraint here, if I was in your position, I wouldn't have hesitated to come down on him like a ton of bricks. Many of us left the event, wondering if the person stood next to them had taken it.

It's a shame the data protection act doesn't let you provide more details about him, I for one wouldn't mind his IP details in order to ban him from any sites hosted by me.

Glad to say it's had a happy ending, much happier for one person when you've picked a winner!

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In my opinion if the C550 doesn't go to me (!) then it HAS to go to mcwarre, he had 5 (FIVE!!!) of his raffle tickets get drawn, he deserves it!!

Great work to all involved in sorting this mess and let that be a message to anyone who'd have the cheek to consider doing such a thing.

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Guest jay211
I think it's kinda funny stealing a phone from a bunch of phone experts... always gonna backfire :)

P

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Nice work people! Its disgusting the length people go at times! I am pleased you got the guy…. Should teach him a lesson! :exclaim:

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Guest mupwangle

So this guy joins 3 weeks before the meet, never posts then pinches a phone? A bit odd. Bit of an arse to then post in the thread about it. You probably should've shopped him. :-(

Shame it ended so dramatically. I would've expected an FBI style showdown with angry modaco members. :-D

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Guest theonlyrick

Well done Paul - Nothing warms the heart more than hearing about a thick criminal!

I don't know who's stupider, Cocky or the guy in this story....

Also: Batteries losing their charge? This might help.....

RiCo

,Aug 25 2005, 19:56]I am very pleased to announce that the SPV C550 stolen at the MoDaCo Summer Event is now back in the safe hands of Orange... following some excellent detective work.

I would like to take this opportunity to expose the thief in our midst...

Edited by theonlyrick
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Guest Disco Stu
Many of us left the event, wondering if the person stood next to them had taken it.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

My thoughts exactly.

That awful sickening feeling that there was a bad apple - who could have been anyone - at the event is now gone.

Finding the miscreant finally lifts the gloom.

Great work and thanks for the quick work. =D> =D>

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Guest mupwangle

>>I don't know who's stupider, Cocky or the guy in this story....

Did you read the one earlier today? Guy steals iPod from a car. Takes it into the local Apple store to buy a cable (since his is missing). The guy in the apple store he speaks to happens to be the manager. The manager who had his ipod stolen from his car that morning.....

>>Also: Batteries losing their charge? This might help.....

I literally put my hamster away moments before reading that. For some reason "putting your hamster away" sounds rude. :-D

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Guest beersoft

congrats everyone for catching the bugger

when people will learn that phones dont do stolen, especialy when there are people like us about to catch them

fingers crossed this isnt going to jeperdise(sp) future events

later

Owen

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