When doing public transport, always keep information on the vehicles you ride.
What made this search especially difficult for Atilla was that she completely forgot the body number of the tricycle, which would have made everything easier for her. She even forgot how her tricycle driver looked like, which, while understandable, hurt her chances even further.
Most phones you lose are lost, not stolen. When taking public transportation, you should always take note of the vehicle you’re riding in, and yes, that includes buses, too. Identifying details, bus line, cab line, plate number even, if you have that luxury. It could spell the difference.
Remove silent mode when outdoors.
Given that Atilla was just following the tricycles in one general area, you know what could have made her search easier? If her phone weren’t on silent mode. Calling it would have turned the phone into a beacon, and unless the person who got the phone were a thief, then your chances of finding it dramatically go up.
Not every would-be thief doesn’t have a conscience.
Ultimately, when Atilla narrowed down which tricycle had her phone to three possible ones (find out how in #1), she approached one of them, and the driver gave back the phone to her. Despite that and despite giving the guy a reward, there were multiple signs that if he had his way, she would never have gotten her phone back.
First, the phone was wrapped in a plastic bag, away from prying eyes and subsequent passengers.
Secondly, he never answered the phone that he knew someone was looking for and was being called the whole time.
Ultimately, it was obvious that his conscience got the better of him and he didn’t realize that Atilla never recognized him as the driver she rode with. And that’s really the most important part: would-be thieves, i.e., people who found your phone rather than outright stole it still usually have a conscience. If you end up face to face with them, there’s a high chance they would give it back to you.
GPS is your friend.
This is the most important factor that led to the phone being recovered: GPS allowed Atilla to track the phone in real time, and narrow down which tricycle had it by driving around the area the trikes go through. When she encountered three tricycles headed in the direction the GPS indicated her phone was, she realized one of the three had her phone, and that helped her find it.
GPS really is your friend. It may not be the most accurate thing in the world, but if it was good enough for Atilla to find her phone in a moving vehicle, then it’s good enough for us.
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