Woman Returns Lost iPhone, Is Rewarded With Beating

The 53-year-old woman in Fredericksburg, Va. was trying to perform a good deed. She found an iPhone near a convenience store, and contacted the owner to give it back. They agreed to meet up outside of a restaurant, and the phone’s owner promised a reward. Then things went horribly wrong: according to police, the phone’s owner took the phone back, handed over the reward, then attacked her from behind while she was walking away.

Police are still looking for the suspects, a man and a woman driving a gold Honda Accord. Here’s some advice for them the next time they misplace an expensive electronic device: if you don’t want to give a reward for its successful return, it’s a lot more efficient to just not offer a reward in the first place.

Woman Attacked After Returning Lost iPhone (Thanks for the tip, Anti!)


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  1. mrearly2 says:

    No good deed goes unpunished…

  2. Hi_Hello says:

    not defending the attackers, but my guess they heard stories or known people who found phone but would not return it unless they received from reward. So in order to get their phone back, they offer the reward right away.

    my friend phone lost his phone, the guy who found it want a hundred bucks for it. He called his phone carrier, told them the phone is lost and send they sent him a new one.

    • Quixiotic... Yea it's a typo (╯°□°)╯彡┻━┻ says:

      So… they offer a reward in order to attract the goodness of others… then beat her after giving her said reward?

    • HoJu says:

      You have a friend phone?

    • A.Mercer says:

      In a situation like that get their contact information so you can call them back. Then tell the police that someone has your phone and is refusing to give it back to you. The police will contact them and let them know that the phone is not their property and refusing to give it back to the rightful owners is against the law.

      I remember a story about Robert Redford where someone found his credit card. They said they would not give it back unless he gave them some autographed stuff. Instead of getting the swag, these people got to deal with the police. Finding the card meant they had to give it up. They had no right to hold it ransom.


      • jimbo831 says:

        Not in Pittsburgh. Here, the police would take down your information and file a report over the phone (no officer ever shows up). Then they will put that report in a file somewhere and never again touch it. They will not call people or do any actual police work.

        Also, the Robert Redford situation was unique. He was a celebrity, so the police will help him. Usually, they don’t want to be bothered with something as mundane as a lost/stolen cell phone.

        • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

          A friend of mine (random guy, no celeb status) had someone try to random his wife’s lost phone. I think they wanted $100 or so. He called the police, and they set up a sting and arrested the woman.

          • jimbo831 says:

            Did your friend live in Pittsburgh? I know someone that had a phone stolen and knew exactly where it was (due to tracking software installed). The police refused to go to that location and get it. My wife had two bank accounts opened in her name. They never bothered to even do basic investigating to subpoena the IP address used to open them. They are either lazy, or too busy investigating more serious crimes, but either way, they don’t bother around here.

            • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

              Nah, not in Pittsburgh – a city in central Illinois. Sorry, didn’t mean to imply that he was in Pittburgh.

              I was actually surprised that they responded as quickly as they did. Maybe the cops wanted a “fun” arrest or something.

      • Hi_Hello says:

        yea I had other ideas for my friend….but was upset we didn’t carry out those plans… I guess it was for the better.

  3. sufreak says:

    While there is nothing right about this, I wonder what caused the attack? Did she threaten to withhold the phone until she got a reward?
    WTF was the motive?

    • homehome says:

      I’ve lived in Fredericksburg, there’s definitely some shady ppl there, the type of ppl who would beat down an old woman, just because they could. Me, I wouldn’t call them, I’d just take it to the store.

      • Sneeje says:

        There’s a reason it’s called Fred’necks-burg.

        • Round-Eye 外人はコンスマリッストが好きです。 says:

          Given that it was a gold Honda accord, I have a feeling Rednecks weren’t the perpetrators of this particular act.

    • Kuri says:

      Maybe it belonged to a drug dealer.

      • StarKillerX says:

        I would think that would make even less sense as if your a drug dealer and loose your phone and someone calls and arranges to give it back to you don’t you think you would try and get it back as quietly, and with as little attention, as possible?

        Of course most of the criminal element isn’t known for their brains.

    • JennQPublic says:

      My first thought on reading the headline was that the owner of the phone suspected this woman of stealing it. But it sounds like they just wanted the “reward” back.

  4. StarKillerX says:

    Was this a prototype phone, and did the couple work for Apple? lol!

  5. az123 says:

    If I had to guess I would think they thought this woman decided to go and steal the phone and hold it for ransom… of course since it seems the reward was promised but not asked for etc… sounds more like totally whacked out people

  6. Invader Zim says:

    Theres an app for that

  7. az123 says:

    Oh and lesson to be learned, if you are returning a phone to someone, get the number for the phone you are returning and write it down… finding these people would be pretty easy if you had the number of the phone

  8. dolemite says:

    My guess is…they thought they were smart. Sugar coat everything and offer a reward, with thoughts that the woman stole the phone. Get her to show up, work everything out, get the phone in-hand, then pay her back.

    Problem is…she obviously has the phone number, maybe other contacts and names, and their car description. Now she can get a real reward….in court!

  9. Driblis says:

    Well she ‘contacted’ the owner, so presumably they know who it was. This should pretty much be an open and shut case.

    • microcars says:

      if she contacted the owner using the owner’s phone that she no longer has, good luck finding that number.

  10. oldwiz65 says:

    Or just take it to the police and let them deal with it.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      Or, if there’s one close by, meet the owner at a police station or a shopping mall or bank (lots of cameras and security) to make the exchange. I suggest that for anything where you meet a stranger online (Craigslist, Freecycle).

      • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

        Our dog was stolen. I suspected who the thief was, so I waited three days, printed and placed one and only one $500 reward poster. I placed it on the pole in front of this guy’s place. Suddenly, he ‘found’ our dog. I came to get her, with a uniformed cop. Needless to say, the topic of the reward did not come up until we were leaving. “But, but, but isn’t there a reward???” I just laughed. He had the balls to go to the police department and demand they extract the reward from us. They told him that if they ever saw him near our place again they would arrest him on the spot.

        • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

          Well played, sir. Especially since now the police know who this guy is and what his favorite grift is, he’ll either be arrested real soon or just give it up and find some other, less criminal way to be a leech.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        And I would add, take someone with you if you can. Don’t go alone.

    • ericfate says:

      Returning stuff is easy. “Hey, I found your thing here by a store. Do you want me to leave it with a manager or drop it in the mail?”

      Never meet in person.

  11. That guy. says:

    This sounds like something out of Grand Theft Auto, where you pay a prostitute for services, then beat her up and take your money back.

  12. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    I wonder why there’s no description other than “man and woman in gold Honda Accord”. Did she not see the people?

    • mopman64 says:

      Yeah, makes you wonder. A gold Honda. Things that make you go hmmmm.

    • Libertas says:

      I’ve come to find out that any time there is no physical description, or photo, it means only one thing, and the news just doesn’t want to say it….

  13. Jawaka says:

    The OP must have gotten some information off of the phone in order to find out who the owner was and contact them. Hopefully she still has that information so she can give it to the police.

  14. shinazzle23 says:

    Maybe it was some kind of gang initiation… ala driving around with your lights off waiting for someone to flash their highbeams at you.


  15. Jack Doe says:

    When redguards attack!

  16. bosozoku says:

    She should have brought her iBodyguard.

  17. rockelscorcho says:

    gold honda accord….shouldn’t be hard to find.

  18. Kuri says:

    Makes me wonder if the phone belonged to a drug dealer or a gang member who was scared of her being a cop.

  19. voogru says:

    See, if she was smart, she would have sent a text to her phone from the phone, or logged the IMEI of the phone.

    I sure would have.

    • lee says:

      in the UK that norm works

      most network operators in the USA do not care if the phone is stolen and will not bar it they just disconnect it so it can be used again (makes sense as an mobile operator as it means you get an new customer)

  20. Such an Interesting Monster says:

    Kinda makes you wonder if we’re only getting one side of the story. I mean, what would be their motivation for doing this?

    Seems more likely that maybe she held the phone for ransom, demanding a reward for its safe return. Now that would explain the situation and at least give some kind of motivation for the altercation.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Yeaaaaah. There’s no good reason to do this to anybody. Like Judge Judy says, “Keep your hands to yourself!”

  21. Jemaine says:

    I would have just pretended to not see it, unless I saw the owner leave it behind

  22. Ayla says:

    EEE Gads! What the heck is wrong with people?

  23. Razor512 says:

    if you find a phone that looks misplaced or lost, don’t return it because it is easy for someone to see it as you stealing the phone and just looking to get money out of the person for returning it.

    also if you are going to return it, at least write down the phone number or do it in a location where a security camera is recording you.

    • FLEB says:

      Or… make an honest effort to find the owner of the phone and don’t go into it with a “what’s in it for me” attitude.

      Rant time now… don’t take it personally:

      This sort of “the world is out to get you” state of constant fear is getting tiring. Chances are that if you find a phone someone left behind, and manage to contact them (assuming you aren’t “ransoming” the phone or being a jerk about it), you’ll be met with gratitude, or at worst annoyance. If they throw a hissy-fit, just shrug, leave the phone, and walk away.

      Chances are rare that you’ll end up in this sort of altercation– so rare, in fact, that the novelty was worth writing up in the newspaper and putting on this blog. The fact that you’re seeing it here, and you’re not even in Fredricksburg, VA nor know the person in question, speaks to the rarity of the event, not the probability.

      On the other hand, tracking down the owner and having everything go smoothly happens more often than not, and actually serves to make the world a happier place at a very small cost of convenience.

  24. DragonThermo says:

    When I found a lost AT&T iPhone, I took it to the nearest AT&T store. I wasn’t interested in a reward or a beating, plus they’d be able to read the SIM card to find the owner.

  25. AM says:

    Most retailers will be happy to help you return a lost item to one of their customers. Contact the person who lost the item and give it to the Store Manager to hold on to. If you are out and about contact the person that lost their item and let them know you will be dropping it off at the nearest police station.

  26. AM says:

    Most retailers will be happy to help you return a lost item to one of their customers. Contact the person who lost the item and give it to the Store Manager to hold on to. If you are out and about contact the person that lost their item and let them know you will be dropping it off at the nearest police station.

  27. I wumbo. You wumbo. He- she- me... wumbo. Wumbo; Wumboing; We'll have thee wumbo; Wumborama; Wumbology; the study of Wumbo. says:

    King of the Hill?