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Crook steals cellphone from gathering of phone experts

Evan Blass
another dumb crook

Welcome to the third installment in Engadget's Stupid Criminals Series. A few weeks ago we told you about a laptop thief who got busted by giving the pilfered PC's serial number to IBM tech support, and yesterday we brought you the tragicomic tale of two misguided youths who stole a woman's iPod and tried to seek a ransom for its return. Well today we have the story of a man who stole an Orange C550 cellphone that was being raffled off for charity at a UK meeting of an online forum a few months back—not all that dumb until you find out that it was a gathering of MoDaCo, the world's largest smartphone community. A few days after the heist, MoDaCo founder Paul O'Brien enlisted the help of a 20-year-old gentleman named Martin who operates SPV-Developers, which offers free unlocking tools for phones like the one that had been jacked. Long story short (mostly because we don't understand all the tech wizardry they performed), this dynamic duo tracked down the thief, who turned out to be a MoDaCo member (probably ex-member now) attending the meetup. After a brief phone conversation with the red-faced crook, O'Brien received the phone back via special delivery the very next day.

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