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Tim Hibbard CEO for EnGraph software

I get an email every couple of weeks from somebody that has found Where's Tim and wants me to help find their lost cell phone. I always reply nicely and tell them that it is not possible to track a random phone via GPS based on it's number or ESN.  First of all, if it was that easy to track something, I would be out of a job. Second of all, it goes against everything we believe in as far as allowing the trackee (is that a word) to be in full control of who watches them and when. Thirdly, it shows a mis-education of how GPS works. People have seen too many movies where the bad guy throws a magnetic tracking device on the back of the good guy's car and then track them down later. Those devices exist in concept, but they are bulky, expensive and you would not casually toss it at a passing car and expect the driver not to notice. Not to mention that even if you could get past the ethical dilemma of tracking somebody with out their permission, it's illegal and considered an invasion of privacy.

I'll talk more later about profitable, positive uses of real time GPS.

Posted on Sunday, August 13, 2006 11:41 AM GPS , Where's Tim , | Back to top


Comments on this post: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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I cant find my lost phone
Left by nadia on Feb 03, 2007 3:19 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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i need my phone
Left by jonah on Mar 22, 2007 7:19 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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opening_123,
1) Watch your language
2) I am not a cell phone provider
3) That is creepy. Do you really want your provider to be able to flip a switch and find your phone?
4) What do kids in 1st grade have anything to do with this?
Left by Tim Hibbard on May 04, 2007 1:10 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
Requesting Gravatar...
I found a nextel i880. tried to find owner but no luck at company's lost and found. There is no sims card. Can I use it? Or can it be tracked and then I would be accused of setealing a phone. Ideas?
Left by KGA on Jun 06, 2007 7:39 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
Requesting Gravatar...
Please can you track my stolen phone, I will be eternally grateful. We can talk about rewards, costing.... Imei # 357858003305018

Carl
Left by Carl on Jun 21, 2007 8:21 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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hi my name is paula my neighbour was cleaning my hosue and when i came back my phone was gone but i odnt have any proof that she stole it. but after wards she got alot of money. I thik she sold my phone? what should i do?
Left by Paula on Jul 09, 2007 11:38 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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Hello, I also stumbled upon this blog in a search about using GPS to find a lost cell phone, however, I, unlike previous posters, actually read and understood your article. I hope I'll find my phone tomorrow, if not, are you _sure_ you can't find my phone with GPS? haha, just kidding. Good article, though!
Left by SG on Jul 11, 2007 9:51 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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my phone was stolen last week..the authorized reseller of tmobile phones (who i bought mine from) told me that he can possibly try and track it down. how is this possible? and will it just give me the location of where the phone is? how about when i actually go about trying to get the phone back from whoever stole it? can somone comment?? thanks
Left by dan on Aug 04, 2007 2:31 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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my phone was stolen tonight along with my entire purse and i feel violated... if anyone runs by a pik katana with a skull and crossbones on the back its mine and just dial 2 for "home" to let me know...

I HATE THE WORLD!!!
Left by Rachel on Aug 05, 2007 11:40 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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can i track my phone down even if its off
Left by gangsta on Aug 07, 2007 11:33 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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I lost my phone too. I kept calling it, but the dick turned it off. Shit! I feel stolen, just like the phone. It was part of me.
Left by Mo on Sep 20, 2007 9:58 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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Is there like any wayy i can find my stolen phone. my phone has gps...and i have the serial number...would i be able to track it down?
Left by annonymous on Sep 27, 2007 7:52 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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and i need to find it
Left by alantee on Sep 29, 2007 9:49 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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I dis agree. I believe you can track a stolen GPS. It has a transponder that identifies itself to the satellit. You may not be able to find them driving down the street but you could get enough information over time to pin down a location where a suspect spends the majority of his time. A crimanl doesn't have any rights to protecting his\her location. I am sorry. If your stuff gets stolen then you can say don't track them. They took that chance when they broke the law. Are criminals to think they are not be looked for after doing something bad?
Left by david jones on Nov 07, 2007 1:56 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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I know who has my phone , just get to him before,
he has a bad day .
Left by EDGAR CRUSE JR. on Nov 29, 2007 12:40 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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i really need my phone i dont know if its stolen or lost.please help me find it.I dont want this to be a big deal I just need my phone
Left by nesreen on Feb 09, 2008 11:06 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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hey man i got my iphone stolen any ideas on how to get it back i have tried calling at&t and the cops and haven't gotten much help anything would be of use at this point
Left by charles campbell on Feb 13, 2008 5:45 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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My iphone was stolen and i really want it back what should i do
Left by Frank on Mar 08, 2008 5:14 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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OMG, the comments... Hahahahaha! I'm both blown away and highly entertained at the same time.

Especially David Jones... do you honestly think that you sound intelligent?

Wow, just... wow.

BTW - Where's Tim... very cool.
Left by A different Carl on Mar 31, 2008 12:03 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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Wow, I work for a company that builds wifi, bluetooth technologies/semiconductors. In this time 04/2008 it is absolutely possible to track devices such as Iphones and standard cell phones that continually send beacons to maintain signals. (I got 4 bars). So many people may give an opinion but they are what they are. Opinions.... Maybe this software dude may want to re-examine where we are at with our technologies. It is not about just GPS although that can be done, but where signals are passed from signal tower to signal tower. Yeah the first guy is probably out of business at this point.
Left by JPS on Apr 09, 2008 9:00 PM

# need software to track lost phone
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Hi!

please help i need a software that can help me track my nokia N76

Thank you
Left by lwazi on May 05, 2008 5:23 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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We had a similar situation but with a happy end at Wizi. Our developer left her mobile phone in a cab and just noticed it later. Once she had Wizi on, she used a friend's phone to track her device. The result was a cab chase in Lisbon during 30 minutes until finally they found the driver parked at a taxi stand.

Of course the situation is different. Wizi is a location based social network where you can share your location with your friends. You only can track your friends with the application running and when they give you permission to see them.

You can also manage the permissions in the website (in case your phone is lost) but you will need the application to be on.

The full story at wizi blog:
http://wizi.com/blogs/wiziblog/archive/2008/05/13/chasing-a-cab-in-lisbon-powered-by-wizi.aspx
Left by Andre on May 14, 2008 6:36 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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Why cant they make a program a parent could install and only use to find phone? Any you people got kids?
Verizon parent chaperon.....http://support.vzw.com/faqs/Chaperone/faq_chaperone.html#item1
Left by bhews on Nov 10, 2008 6:09 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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I can't find my cell phone. I turned it off, removed the battery and stomped on it before losing it. Can you use GPS to find it for me? I forget the number (never call it myself), but I can give you the credit card number (Visa 4182847328349932) I used to buy it, I'm sure you can just punch that into your system and let me know what gutter it fell into?
Left by Common Idiot on Dec 19, 2008 2:53 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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Tim,

If you're still reading this thread, Merry Christmas and all the best for 2009. I came across it on a search for my old business name ... how cool that it still has a life of it's own after all this time. GPS receivers registering themselves with the satellites, tracking BlueTooth via cell towers ...one thing the US doesn't lack is imnagination ... too bad more people didn't study engineering rathe4r than script writing ;-)

I really need another blog like I need a hole in the head but I think I'll rework a 'dead' one I've had for some time now focused on snooping and other 'creepy' things the government allegedly can and can't do to us. There's certainly no lack of active gulible minds to read it.

I wonder if that 'first guy out of business' comment referred to me? I am out of business as many know, sold everything off, paid all the taxes and have been in my own little tropical paradise for nearly three years now. No regrets. And no heating bills either. Hope you all find your phones.
Left by Dave Starr on Dec 22, 2008 5:20 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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load this software if you have a smartphone. it works

http://www.buddyway.com/
Left by ron on Dec 23, 2008 7:47 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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pleasse help me find my stolen cell phone
Left by marilee wright on Jan 07, 2009 3:12 PM

# Tracking cell phones with gps
Requesting Gravatar...
I found a site that claims to hook people up with businesses that can track a lost or stolen cell phone via gps. It looks legit?

http://factualsatisfaction.freehostia.com/cell.html



Brandon
Left by Brandon on Jan 18, 2009 2:11 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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Someone stole my phone today =( havent had it long lg secret!
not fair, i cant get hold of anyone and they have all my stuff!!
Left by kw on Feb 12, 2009 6:06 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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some dumbass bitch stole my phone while i was at school........and i need my phone....n its very important to me......
Left by sally on Apr 03, 2009 12:53 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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umm... you all crazy people will never find your phones unless someone calls you and says they found it.
Left by Cell Phond Hacker on May 06, 2009 12:38 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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Pleas help me recover my stolen phone ore assign me to someone who can.I curently have no contact number,onley work mail and i have no knolage how the drill works to vind it.Please help it was a very expensive phone!!!
Left by Abri Roos on May 20, 2009 4:53 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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sir,can you please help me find my stolen phone
the IMEI no is 357598004477925
Left by sanchit garg on May 25, 2009 11:04 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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Can you help me find my stolen i phone..... IMEI # 011612006220007 Thanks
Left by Lisa on Jun 14, 2009 6:24 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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hi, my name is corina and today 06-13-09 at 1:00 pm somebody stoled my phone at work in the break room . I had one of my friends text them and tell them to please return my phone and i will give them 200.00 dollors. They text back and said sure, but being a smart ass. so if u can help me please send me a email. ms.rinaladyc@yahoo.com
Left by corina on Jun 15, 2009 2:56 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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How do I locate my lg triton using gps?
Left by kimmie on Jul 02, 2009 8:28 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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My dog just ate my phone, swallowed the whole thing at once (big dog). I generally keep it on vibrate so my question is.. If I call continuously and make it vibrate will that cause the dog to, you know, pass the phone quicker?
Left by Mary on Jul 15, 2009 10:28 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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I just lost my phone last night, a nice, not scratched G1 phone with blue decals. My mom is screaming at me 24/7 until we find it and i really need it for the information i carry it in: photos, numbers, my ssn. It has Loopt and is gps enabled but i still can't find it. please help me, this is the last time i get wasted at a party with my phone. my phone number on my cell is 619-788-6597. My mom's phone number is 760-297-8201. The IMEI is 351680031737772. Thank you
Left by Joven Payumo on Jul 26, 2009 5:11 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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Help me find my phone. Can you turn on the GPS?
Left by Ricky on Jul 27, 2009 11:24 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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I realize you cant track the cell phone but my phonr has photos messages ssn and a bunch of other private information. its a nice sort of new phone with no scratches and i really need it back!! i basically tore up my home looking for it andits no where to be found! Can you try to help the number is 9373088110. I wouldnt be so worried if it didnt have all that information on it.
Left by Ashley on Aug 11, 2009 9:17 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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feel as though im part of the club now. i got so many private txts on my phone its not funny. i just want my phone back :(
Left by tree on Aug 15, 2009 7:28 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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Someone stole my phone at a Dr's office on Sunday and now I am triung to figure out how to get my phone back. I have a one year warranty and the Insurance. What can I do?
Left by felicia on Sep 02, 2009 12:37 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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My name: Jeevan Pandurang Chaudhari
Address: keshav kunj,swami vivekanandnagar,At & P.Vasind tal-shahapur
Dist-thane Pin-421604
Phone model:sony Ericsson W800i
Make:Sony Ericsson
Last used No.:09975254763
E-mail for communication: jeesup150@gmail.com
Missed date: 16-04-2008
IMEI No.: 35682900-806684-9
Left by Jeevan Pandurang Chaudhari on Sep 03, 2009 9:12 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
Requesting Gravatar...
My name: Gopal Pandurang Chaudhari
Address: keshav kunj,swami vivekanandnagar,At & P.Vasind tal-shahapur
Dist-thane Pin-421604
Phone model:sony Ericsson K750i
Make:Sony Ericsson
Last used No.:09870362378
E-mail for communication: gopal7289@gmail.com
Missed date: 04-04-2009
IMEI No.: 35378501-734271-7
Left by Gopal Pandurang Chaudhari on Sep 03, 2009 9:15 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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I lost my phone today can u tell me how to find it its sony ericson w995 and imei number is 354022030090928
Left by RikZ on Sep 10, 2009 6:06 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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hey i found a phone weeks ago i have tried to find the owner but i have had no luck. i was woundering if i can use it or will i get accused of stealing it??
Left by csghgkj on Sep 17, 2009 3:52 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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My phone was stolen from a Mc Donnalds employee. I have their address and the person they are communicating with. I went to the LAPD and officer sanchez from newton division said that i should just get a new cell phone. Great that lazy officer didnt do a report.
i have left several messages and spoken to the person that constantlyappears in my phone but she denies everything and called me a stalker. I want to know what should i do?
Left by timas on Sep 20, 2009 2:57 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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I recently tracked my stolen phone using the gps. I called the phone company and deactivated all but incoming calls and initiated tracking. I was required to send an alert that the phone was stolen and being tracked and should be returned to the phone store. I reported the theft to the police, but they didn't act. So, I went to the home of the culprit and asked for the phone back. Luckily I spoke to a parent who got the phone from his daughter and acted appropriately.
Left by success on Oct 31, 2009 9:37 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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i can not fine my stolen phone , tlocate it to a coordinates 27.56430,82.25350 in tampa fl 33605 , I know my husdand might give it a way but it have work infrmation in it , i need an address.
Left by judiht bowe on Nov 08, 2009 4:25 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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how can all tracking devices be large and bulky? i mean, the GPS chip in a PDA or cell phone is not big... i understand that they require a power source but... comeon lol. my best suggestion would be.
1. use google latitude
2. install software on your pc that allows you to track your own phone if you lose it.
Left by Shane on Jan 03, 2010 1:25 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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My phone was stolen 4 days ago,i've got the serial number and my phone has enabeled GPS,could you please tell me how can i find it?!
Left by anoymous on Jan 09, 2010 12:47 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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i,ve lost my phone and i can't get it back . help!
Left by gram on Mar 01, 2010 6:17 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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I was running through a huge field with my phone in my pocket.....then i realized it wasnt there anymore.. we looked for hours but cant find it....what should i do?
Left by megan on Mar 06, 2010 4:14 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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i got my phone stollen and i cant find it the number is 0458156536
Left by jono on Mar 07, 2010 9:18 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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hi
can u still find my phone if its turned off i only got it at christmas an its missing im sure its sum were in the house but it ddnt turn up yet its an lg please help !!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!

the number is 0852055083
Left by megan higgins on Mar 10, 2010 3:16 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
Requesting Gravatar...
I don't know what to do if you lose a phone, but I installed BuddyGuard on my blackberry, and it has the ability to lock and erase the phone. It also displays the owners information for the to contact you. Once you lock the phone, there's not much they can do unless they are tech savy.
Left by best man on Apr 13, 2010 5:12 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
Requesting Gravatar...
can you please help me track my stolen phone down. my phone got stolen in gym class today and i need to get it back how can you help me track it down so i can get it back so my 86 year old grandmother doesnt have to pay for another one for me . my phone is an samsung instinct the second one by sprint and it has been deactivated
Left by aj stewart on Apr 16, 2010 11:08 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
Requesting Gravatar...
My phone was stolen at work on monday by a co-worker, obviously but that person won't give up my phone. Its a g-1, it's kind of like the my touch but a little more lower class than the my touch. I'm not sure if it does have a gps or not. But what do you suggest me to do?
Left by yuri on May 12, 2010 1:04 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
Requesting Gravatar...
I lost my iPhone. It was locked, not jailbroken, and 3gs with a sim. The theif turned it off but i have the IMEI number serial, ICCID, UPC, and all the info neccessary. It has gps and everything. Can you help me find my phone PLEASE?!
Left by Stephen Song on May 17, 2010 4:46 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
Requesting Gravatar...
i just had my phone stolen today, it fell out of my stroller and someone accidently answered it. i have a video of my son right after he was born and a bunch of pictures that can never be replaced. i'm SO sad no one understands how horrible i feel that i'll never find it again. if anyone knows how i can find it PLEASE let me know. i don't care about the phone really i just want my pix and vids back.
Left by New mom on May 20, 2010 11:15 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
Requesting Gravatar...
e-mail me at kiwi_1792@yahoo.com please and thank you it means SO much to me.
Left by New mom on May 20, 2010 11:16 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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i really need to find my phone it got stolen last monday it has everything on it please email me at kiahkb97@yahoo.com
Left by kiahb on Jun 10, 2010 10:10 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
Requesting Gravatar...
You must install some GPS tracking software first before you can track a cell phone location, hope it helps, lol.
Left by GPS tracker on Jun 19, 2010 11:28 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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If i find your phones what do i get! (to girls only)
Left by bend over on Sep 20, 2010 6:09 AM

# can too...here is a video how
Requesting Gravatar...
can too, here is a video how

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMluBrpuRgM

Left by connor on Oct 28, 2010 6:01 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
Requesting Gravatar...
i need my foe i kcant live without iht iht , i feel like dyin right now because my fone is my everything lik3 be serious
Left by inese robinson on Nov 08, 2010 2:00 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
Requesting Gravatar...
I got my phone stolen about three years ago and I was very sad, because I lost a lot of important contacts. It's not like I had 800 numbers on it, but I hadn't managed to get some of them back. It was a dark day.
Left by ella on Nov 23, 2010 8:35 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
Requesting Gravatar...
I was robbed and need to find my phone fast so they can catch those crookes
Left by david on Dec 19, 2010 1:00 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
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my mobile stolen
Left by nisar khan on Jan 06, 2011 9:53 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
Requesting Gravatar...
Pleeas!!! Pleasse! help me track my phone. This person i think iknow i who stole it but when somenone quetions her she denies it. I reealy need my phone back because there was important stuuf in it....PLEASE
Left by adri on Jan 12, 2011 5:24 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
Requesting Gravatar...
cant find my phone. i live on a farm and i lost it in a field how do i track it?
Left by kelsey on May 17, 2011 5:00 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
Requesting Gravatar...
I can't find my lost mobile phone
Left by zendabad on Jun 22, 2011 2:37 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
Requesting Gravatar...
i lost my iphone last week. i was about to get off the bus and i accidently dropped it. i think one of the Souldiers picked it up but it was gona an hour and a half later. how do i find it?
Pleeeeease help mee
Left by :) on Jun 26, 2011 5:37 PM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
Requesting Gravatar...
I lost my phone last night please help
Left by ian bradley on Jul 03, 2011 8:18 AM

# re: I can not find your lost or stolen phone with GPS
Requesting Gravatar...
ive lost my iphone and i really need it bak and i cant use find my iphone so can u plzz help me find it ??
Left by jayden on Sep 08, 2011 7:02 PM

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