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My Cell Phone Was Stolen – Part 1

My cell phone was stolen two days ago while I was donating blood!  Yep, it took me about 2 months to get my new $325 Samsung Epic (well, $225 now…I just got the rebate check) snatched right out of my purse.  I really am too emotionally exhausted right this second to feel much at all.  Here’s what happened.

My Cell Phone Was Stolen – Timeline for April 4, 2011:

  • 5:00pm – Arrive at blood donation center
  • 5:15pm – Finish up the paperwork and finger prick test
  • 5:16pm – Receive a happy call from Mr. BFS about free home refinancing (that’ll be a post unto itself in a few weeks, lol)
  • 5:20pm – Check email on smart phone while waiting for someone to take my blood.
  • 5:25pm – Toss my cell phone into my open purse, which is actually up on the table and between my legs, and look away while they get everything started.
  • 5:35pm – Am told I am done, so I put my purse on the ground to my right before getting up.
  • 5:40pm – Finally have all the equipment removed and can get up.
  • 5:41 – Sit in a chair and eat a bag of Mini Oreos and drink some water while they make sure I don’t faint.  I actually thought about using my cell phone right then to check the Weight Watcher’s point value for the Oreos but blow it off since I’ll be home soon.
  • 5:50pm – Walk to my car, start it, get out into traffic and realize I haven’t called Mr. BFS back.
  • 5:51pm – Freak out at a stop light because my cell phone is gone and turn around.
  • 5:55pm – Search parking lot, car, blood center, and purse a billion times with help from the nurses half this time too.  We tried calling my cell phone several times too.
  • 6:15pm – Finally give up and head straight home.
  • 6:25pm – Grab husband’s cell phone and sit quietly in my car for a minute trying to call my phone again.
  • 6:26pm – Freak out (it was building), breakdown, cry a lot, and husband has to calm me down (poor hubby).
  • 6:30pm – Change all of my email passwords since they weren’t password protected on my phone.
  • 6:40pm – Eat a very yummy steak my husband put in front of me.
  • 6:50pm – Clean out whole car, all papers, and look into and under every nook and cranny.
  • 7:10pm – Finally give up and call Sprint to deactivate my phone.
  • 7:20pm – Start checking email, blog, and blogging group stuff while I try to think about what I can do next.
  • 8:00pm – Call a few friends and family on hubby’s phone to let them know I don’t have a cell phone.
  • 9:00pm – Realize I still have my old cell phone and quickly call Sprint to reactivate it.
  • 9:15pm –  Remember that we have Purchase Protection Coverage from Discover Card for uninsured theft or damage for electronics within 90 days of purchase.
  • 9:20pm – Find out I have to file a police report in order to apply for reimbursement.
  • 9:30pm – Go back to blogging until bed and made a list for what to do yesterday to get everything handled.

My Cell Phone Was Stolen – Timeline for April 5, 2011:

  • 10:15am – Call blood donation center to make sure they haven’t found the phone.  Leave my number in case it pops up soon.
  • 12:00pm – Call the Houston Police Department to file a report.
  • 12:10pm – Am told they have my call back info and someone will call me to take my report.
  • 2:50pm – Receive call from HPD and file my report.
  • 3:05pm – Call Discover Card to file a claim.  I am told I will need a copy of the police report, my home owner’s insurance declaration page, my original receipt, a copy of the Discover Card statement that my phone was bought during, and I’ll need to wait up to 2 days for an email with a claim form I have to sign and send back.
  • 3:55pm – Find out the police report won’t be available until tomorrow and then it may take a week to mail.
  • 4:10pm – Worry that I won’t be able to find the original receipt.
  • 6:00pm – Company softball league.
  • 9:00pm – Look for all of the paperwork including original cell phone receipt – I will have to finish tracking it all down tomorrow.

I’ll have to call the police department again today and fill out the claim form.  This is exhausting and I wish the worst karma in the world on whatever butt-munch decided that the chick with the needle in her arm looked like a good target.

I’ll let you know what happens next in Part 2.  I really hope they approve my claim once I can get everything submitted.  Even though it could take up to 60 days to receive the check, it’ll be nice to know I didn’t completely lose $225. I could just get a temporary phone with one of the best prepaid phone plans but not sure about that yet.

This has me thinking of getting a identity theft protection now since so much personal information can be accessed on a cell phone. I’ll be researching the best family identity theft protection and sharing what I find soon. Hopefully my identity is safe.

Have you ever had anything stolen?  Does sleep indeed help?  I am soooo tired…

41 thoughts on “My Cell Phone Was Stolen – Part 1”

  1. Moneycone

    Sorry to hear about your loss Crystal and I hope you get your money back even though the emotional toll it took is worth way more than that I’m sure.

    On a side note, who steals from someone donating blood?

  2. Bogey

    My house was broken into in the middle of the day about 2 years ago. They stole pretty much anything with value – every electronic item I owned, all my wife’s jewelry and purses, etc. Not only that, but I had an old house, so when they kicked in the door and damaged the structure of the house, it cost an arm and a leg to have it fixed.

    We actually never felt safe there again, and moved to a much better neighborhood this past summer.

    Wound up being a very expensive endeavor indeed!

  3. Mercedes

    WOW! that is a crazy story! I can’t believe someone would be so bold as to reach into your purse, and reach into it when it was in such close proximity to you, and all while you are giving blood! Ugh, there are just some terrible people in the world! I hope the paperwork with Discover doesn’t take too long to process, and you get yourself a new smartphone soon!

  4. Sustainable PF

    Our house was broken into while we slept @ the end of January.
    Lost:
    – my NEW laptop
    – wifes NEW netbook (bye bye $700 combined)
    – my super Canada proof winter jacket ($300)
    – both wallets ($120 cash combined)
    – newish (1 yr) Camera ($250)
    – data key (worth little but had all of our blogging / finance stuff on it (no numbers tho)
    – 2 gift cards for home depot ($150)

    And total fear every time I hear a bang at night.

  5. Sunil from The Extra Money Blog

    i am sorry to hear this. i know you had bought it to more actively engage in your online endeavors. i am curious whether discover (assuming you used them to buy as per the pts above) or your home insurance will cover it? i have insurance through USAA and for a small fee the extend coverage to gadgets like a laptop. i should ask if smart phones are included. stand alone insurance plans for smart phones are seldom cost effective in my experience. all the best and i hope you get some good news

  6. Shona

    Sometimes I wonder just how low some people can go – to steal a phone while you are donating blood. But then again, here in South Africa, we are used to such happenings. My hubby had his phone stolen while he was busy talking on it! He was on a call when the ‘suspect’ ran past him, grabbed the phone and continued running…aaahhh welcome to Africa…

  7. Dave @ Money In The 20s

    Sorry to hear about the phone. I know I have too much personal information, account info, etc. on my phone so I would be freaking out if I lost it..

    Good thing you found out right away and changed all of your passwords and deactivated the phone!

  8. Money Beagle

    Wow, it takes a real turd to steal a phone from a blood donation center.

  9. Kevin @ Thousandaire.com

    When you get your new phone, put a security app on it like Lookout Mobile Security. You can use it to find the GPS location of your phone and knock on the door of the dude who stole it. As long as you have a good password on your phone, they won’t be able to get into the phone and turn off the security function.

    It sucks to have something stolen, but with a good security app, you can minimize your risk.

  10. Denise @ The Single Saver

    How awful. I just don’t understand the mentality of people who steal. A friend of mine was home invaded, while she was staying with her 96 year old mother. The jerk hit my friend and that so angered her mother that she sprung up and started pounding the guy on the back (did I mention she weighed all of 90 pounds and was maybe 5 foot tall?). They later caught the guy and in court he said “the old lady really hurt me.” What gets me, though, is that this guy thought it was okay to break in and terrorize two older women. And now you get your phone stolen while giving blood? That tells me it might have been an inside job from one of the people who worked there. What is this world coming to?

  11. Ryan

    Ah that blows! But it’s good that Discover (hopefully) has your back. I’d be ticked if someone stole my iPhone, even if I do have the “Find My iPhone” feature.

  12. Jeff

    That’s terrible to hear. I know that with certain credit cards, if you purchased the phone with the credit card and it got stolen, the credit card company will refund you. Check into it, I know this is AMEX’s policy.

  13. Buck Inspire

    Wow, that sucks big time! Hope Discover steps up. A co-worker told me the iPhone wipes itself after several failed attempts of a password. I need to look into that myself. Sorry for the phone loss, but your personal data is the most important. Good move on changing passwords. Cool how after the drama, you can always go back to blogging about it. 🙂

  14. krantcents

    That is terrible! My wife’s purse was stolen at work a long time ago. She even had a suspect, because she used the credit card at a hair salon. I reported it to the credit card company and they were unwilling to go after the person. The worst part was replacing her driver’s license, credit cards and stuff.

  15. The Saved Quarter

    So rotten! 🙁 At least your insurance will cover it, even if you do have to jump through a few hoops.

  16. Crystal @ BFS

    @Moneycone, I’ll be okay. It just stinks that I can only check my blog email at night now…

    @Bogey, well that is a complete nightmare! I’m so sorry you two had to deal with that!

    @Mercedes, I won’t even be able to send my paperwork in for a week or two since I’m waiting for a mailed copy of my police report. After that, they have to approve my claim and then it can take 60 days to receive my reimbursement. In short, I am not waiting that long for a smart phone again, lol. I’ll just have to fork over cash and hope everything works out eventually…

    @SPF, I actually thought of you when I was writing this. I know a phone isn’t much comparably…

    @Sunil, I should ask Geico if they have a policy for gadgets or not…I don’t think we have it but I am sure Discover’s Insurance company will point it out in a heartbeat if I do, lol.

    @Shona, wow, that thief was bold. Maybe Africa is not the place for me…

    @Dave, yeah, being addicted to my phone actually helped out – I knew within 25 minutes that it had been taken. I miss my email…

    @Money Beagle, I agree!

    @Kevin, someone else told me about a security app last night! Things I wish I had known 3 days ago…

    @Denise, strangely enough, I’m still optimistic that most people are inherently kind. Case in point, all of you are making me feel better. The (many) people I have had to talk to about the whole thing for reports and claims, etc, have been very sweet. There are just some bad people that will give me a headache every once in a while, and thanks to my family and friends (including all of you), I can handle it okay. I only freaked out for a couple of hours and then I thought, “this will make a good blog post series…let’s see if Discover pays up…”. 🙂

    @Ryan, I will be adding phone Lojack on my next one…

    @Jeff, that’s what I’m doing with Discover right now. It’s technically a 3rd part insurance agency though…

    @Buck Inspire, this blog really does help me vent and stay more positive about stuff like this. 🙂

    @krantcents, that’s a little nightmare of mine – my purse. I have a billion cards I would need to cancel and errands to run…grrr for purse thieves…

  17. Crystal @ BFS

    @The Saved Quarter, we will see. It’s making me nervous that the Discover insurance company wants a copy of my homeowner’s declaration page…I hope this doesn’t become a get-it-from-them, no get-it-from-them thing…

  18. retirebyforty

    Sorry to hear that! I know you do a lot of work through your cell phone. Hope you get a replacement soon and money back from the insurance.

  19. Ryan

    Maybe after you placed it in your purse it somehow fell out (into a trash can maybe) where the sound would be muffled.

  20. Linda

    To be blunt, this sucks. Being a victim of theft is not trivial; you can feel it like a personal violation, and I’ve personally experienced that more than once.

    Way back in high school I had cash stolen from my wallet during cooking class. I discovered the theft in the next period when I went to pay for my year book. While reporting it to school security they were jerkes to *me*. “Why were you carrying so much cash?” Um, I was buying a yearbook that day! What 16 year old had a checking account (or credit card for that matter) back in the 80’s?!

    A few years later I had my luggage stolen out of the car trunk while on a trip to New York City. Imagine opening up the trunk to find your bag of clothing toiletries missing just as you’re checking into a hotel late at night after a hot, sticky day walking around Manhattan. I had vivid dreams that night where I ran into a woman wearing my clothes in the street…and I beat the living crap out of her. (Yeah, I was pretty angry!)

    Just last week a woman in Chicago lost her life over a cell phone theft. After snatching the phone while on a crowded L platform, the thief shoved people out of his way so he could escape. Unfortunately one of the people he shoved lost her balance, fell down the stairs, and died from her injuries a few hours later. The thief is now not also a murderer.

    Keep us posted on your experience working with Discover! And you will feel better after a few days.

  21. Crystal @ BFS

    @retirebyforty, me too. This week has been so stressful so far…I’m hoping the weekend is way better…

    @Ryan, there was a trash can by the snacks, but I don’t remember using it. I wasn’t finished with the bottled water, so I carried it out with me and the empty wrapper for the Oreos was in my purse because I wanted to enter the info into Weight Watchers. If something like that happened though, I’m just sad for the early death of a nice phone…

    @Linda, all of that truly sucks, I am sorry. I can totally understand the dreams of beating the crud out of the thief though. And I am glad no one was hurt. I will say that most of your experiences make me feel silly for caring so much about the phone, but I’m still regretful.

    I will definitely keep you posted (my next update will probably be next Wednesday). Thank you for sharing!

  22. First Gen AMerican

    Wow…I’m so glad you had the theft protection on your phone though. Good thinking.

    Bad Karma will befall this slime who stole from a good Samaritan. I wonder if he/she also goes around and steals things out of the meals for wheels vans. Sheesh. I didn’t know about the GPS app though. Interesting tip from Kevin.

  23. Crystal @ BFS

    @First Gen, I only have Discover Card to thank for that automatic coverage…it took me a few hours to remember that they even had it…

    I will definitely be installing the theft protection app on my next phone!

  24. Linda

    One more benefit of having my PDA issued by work is that if I discover it missing/stolen they remotely “brick” the phone. That means the equipment is not just wiped, it’s rendered unusable. (I’m sure some smart hacker could figure out how to restore the bricked equipment, but thieves rarely have such advanced skills.)

    Yes, get the security program on your next PDA!

  25. Babybluewater

    Hi there! Ugh, what a horrible experience. I’m sorry you had to go through that. I too had my cell phone stolen recently. Mine was taken right from our mailbox. Here’s my story:

    https://headoverheelsindebt.blogspot.com/2011/02/little-bad-luck-in-2011.html

  26. jim

    My car stereo was stolen years ago. It sucks and makes you feel personally insulted or attacked in some way. Not much you can do about it though. Best just to accept the loss and move on with your life.

  27. ODWO

    That’s a sad story! 🙁

    Sleep will probabl not help right now, but will definitely help in a few days when you finish filling out evenrything and get it submitted to Discover Card. Then …. you’ll sleep. 🙂

    I’m guesing they took it right out of your purse? You were not talking on it while getting your blood taken.

    May the claim come thru’ quickly! Sorry to hear about this happening. Take your time and just breathe deep whenever you get “uptight” from thinking about it (again). Remember, you’ve already relived it many times. No need to keep doing that … for any additional stress. (not good for the body and soul) 🙂

  28. Kevin

    Losing your phone is the worst…it’s almost like identity theft nowadays..

  29. LifeAndMyFinances

    That really stinks Crystal! Hopefully you can get it back somehow… doubtful though I guess.

  30. JT McGee

    This is awful.

    I’ve always wondered what goes through thieves heads. Maybe something like, “Hey, I like this so much that I am going to take it from this person who worked hard for it?”

    Nothing peeves me more than theft–even worse that it happened while you were donating blood! Come on!

  31. Crystal @ BFS

    @Linda, cool feature!

    @Babybluewater, it seems there are a lot of us victims of theft! I’m sorry about your phone!

    @jim, that’s what we’re doing…

    @ODWO, I’m pretty much over it now. I just want to get the paperwork done and find me an affordable used one…

    @Kevin, it feels as invasive…

    @LifeAndMyFinances, it would be cool but I’ve given up hope.

    @JT, yep, that’s pretty much how I feel. Although we just found out some worse news (I’ll let you all know next week when the details aren’t as fuzzy), so I pretty much have stopped caring about the phone…

  32. Sheila

    Crystal I am so sorry that happened to you. You are right karma will catch up to the person responsible. Everything of any value was stole from my house once. What really mattered to me the most was all of the plants that they trashed. My miniture orange tree belonged to my grandmother. It felt so invasive at the time.

  33. ODWO

    You know …. these types of phones ALL have GPS in them.

    It would seem that the GPS would tell the police, insurance company, anyone who could actually want to find it .. exactly where it is. Right now.

  34. Crystal @ BFS

    @Sheila, I can’t believe they trashed your plants! That sucks!

    @ODWO, apparently my phone is dead or wiped or something (they may have destroyed it once they figured out I turned it off within an hour) because I can’t GPS locate it.

  35. Invest It Wisely

    Sorry to hear about this Crystal! My girlfriend’s parents had their car smashed in but “luckily” they only stole a backpack full of old school textbooks… it was still expensive to replace but not as expensive as it could have been. What a pain in the ass though, and the textbooks actually belonged to a friend so she had to tell her the bad news and then reimburse her!

  36. Evan

    Crystal,

    If you would have gotten insurance would it have covered the stolen item?

  37. Kay Lynn @ Bucksome Boomer

    I would think that everyone there was a good person because they’re donating. It’s sad to think that place isn’t safe from petty thieves.

  38. Sandra

    All I can say is WOW, but then again I just can’t believe someone would steal your phone right out of your purse that is between your legs. That is bold, are you sure you just didn’t misplace it,I know you’re sure… good luck though with Discover, thats got to be a nightmare in itself.

  39. Auto Title Loans

    Thankfully I have never lost my phone (knock on wood), and if I did, I think I would FREAK OUT! I don’t even know my best friend’s phone number by heart so this article reminds me that I need to. It’s crazy to think that we never relied on phones as much as we used to about 15 years ago. It was pagers and pay phones. Why can’t we go back to the simple life? So did you find it or get a new one?

  40. Furniture Stores in Los Angeles

    I have had my phone stolen and never filed a report, never thought it was necessary… just take the losses. But I didn’t know that you can be remembered for something like that. I will keep this in mind just in case I (or someone I know) get my phone stolen.

  41. Los Angeles SEO

    Getting your phone stolen is such a bummer, but now days with smart phones our identity is at stake. So much is attached to our phones now… email, bank statement, facebook you name it. If someone gets a hold of your phone they can have access to all of that.

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