True Detective: The Case of the Stolen iPhone [Act II]

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Yesterday we learned that our victim, Trent, lost his phone in Virginia. What was not made clear is that the potential hero, Alvin, was not with Trent when this occurred. He was in his loft in sunny Arizona. Furthermore, it was unclear from the dialogue that Trent and his idiot wook friends had made the journey from frozen Michigan to Virginia to stay at a rat infested motel for a steep price which excluded the unforeseen cost of a stolen $600 iPhone.

We now resume the dialogue with Trent corresponding from Michigan via the only means necessary, Facebook messenger, and Alvin plotting his next detective move from Arizona, starting with a call to the hotel.

Trent: (757) 555-2300, was in rooms 337 and 339, the suite, which was under Chewbacca’s name. lost it between 7:25pm and 11:30pm on sunday night. black iphone 5, black case with RINGKE Slim on the back of it. haha. and it popped up at 2am about 3 miles from the hotel for a second or two. i was with the only kid with us who had a car the whole night. never went anywhere near where it showed up

Alvin: They say thave a 3G iPhone. doesnt sound like yours

Trent: not mine tho

Alvin: i dont know i think someone is playing u. or maybe u were so cracked out u dont remember. phones dont disappear

Trent: i wasnt even cracked out, just drunk. we start drinking rumpelminz and fireball at like 2pm

Alvin: then u took your phone somewhereeee

Trent: but i had it in the rooooooom at 7:25pm. no usage on AT&T since 5mb data at 2:04am

Alvin: then one of the people in the room took it or stole it. nobody just walks into a room. from 3 miles away from the hotel. and says oh hers trents phone. unless gps was fucked. prob laying in a bush with a dead battery

Trent: but why were cable and plug missing? it was a huge cable. cable and phone were plugged into same outlet entire weekend. i never pull the little cube plug either, because i use it for my lil recharger battery pack too

October 24, 2013 12:55 am

Trent: people turned my phone back on. Same place. I can see their front door on google maps. Ahhjjjjj

Alvin: cant u send the police there

Trent: I called! There’s a police station 2 blocks away!!

Alvin: oh no shit and what they say

Trent: They’re like “we only retrieve phones if u go with. Oh wait, it was stolen in Hampton? This is Newport News. U have to report it there first”

Alvin: id go back to Virginia and get that damn thing

Trent: I have work and job!

Alvin: so ur gonna let them get away with it!

Trent: The address that pops up is [redacted] Newport News, VA! I should mail them a self addressed stamped envelope lol. With main apt building address, not mine

Alvin: why dont u get reverse pohne number look up

Trent: And when I called Hampton police they wouldn’t even file a report, just a tracking number for if i had insurance. I’m like “I know right where it is!!” And they said “even if we did find it, we can’t send it back to u”

Alvin: idea!

At this point, Alvin goes to whitepages.com and inputs the address given to him by Trent.

Alvin: we have to be smart enough to figure this out. I think we should mail a letter to the address and say you will not pursue charges if the phone is returned promptly to the police station. Here’s the criminal code for theft! in college one of my roommates stole my sidekick. so i wrote a letter to the house advising them that i would get the authorities involved if it was not placed in my room by saturday and that i would be gone all weekened. came back, and sure enough, it was returned

Trent: thats a great story actually

Alvin: check email.

Alvin emails this letter to Trent: 

To: Inhabitants or guests of the property [redacted], Newport News VA 23605.

This request is intended to the aforementioned parties above along with other residents, inhabitants or guests of the property [redacted], Newport News VA 23605.

We have reason to believe that you are in possession of an iPhone 5 that was taken from the owner on either October 20, 2013 or October 21 2013.

The owner has subsequently filed a police report indicating that the phone was stolen. This letter is to serve as notice that you are in receipt of stolen goods and can be prosecuted accordingly if the phone is not returned immediately.

It can be mailed anonymously to the address below and the owner will not follow up with any charges. I have included the Virginia criminal statute below for you to review.

  • 18.2-108. Receiving, etc., stolen goods.
  1. If any person buys or receives from another person, or aids in concealing, any stolen goods or other thing, knowing the same to have been stolen, he shall be deemed guilty of larceny thereof, and may be proceeded against, although the principal offender is not convicted.
  2. If any person buys or receives any goods or other thing, used in the course of a criminal investigation by law enforcement that such person believes to have been stolen, he shall be deemed guilty of larceny thereof.

(Code 1950, § 18.1-107; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 2008, c. 578.)

Will Trent mail the letter to the alleged thief? Would you put your home address as the return address? How great was the letter written by Alvin? Should Trent chalk up his loss to bad luck for his own safety?

Tune in tomorrow for the dramatic conclusion of True Detective: The Case of the Stolen Iphone [Act 3]

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