Meet Christina Lee and Michael Saba who live in suburban Atlanta and are facing a peculiar problem; people keep showing up to their house demanding them to return the stolen phones. Sounds quite bizarre, so let’s take it from the top. Shall we?
The young couple was surprised when they learned that smartphone tracking apps are directing phone owners to their house. This mind-boggling practice started when an angry family knocked on their door back in February asking them to return the stolen phone. The couple was taken aback and had no idea what was going on. The same situation repeated itself two months later when a group of friends came looking for their lost phone.
The problem worsened following four more such visits within a month and they had to face the unusual question; ‘where is my phone?’ The couple had no clue about the phones – iPhones and Android – all sporting various carriers. Eventually, they opted for a standard reply, “I’m sorry you came all this way. This happens a lot.”
The problem took a new turn when last June police came knocking since pings from a missing teenage girl’s phone led them to this particular house. The police, being the law enforcing agency, treated the couple as suspects and had them sit outside for about an hour while they weighed in the option of issuing a warrant for searching the house. As per Saba, when he asked whether he could go inside to use the bathroom, the policeman responded, “Your house is a crime scene and you two are persons of interest.”
As can be expected, the couple is now more than worried over the hypothesis that it could be a part of a bigger scheme that might land them in a grave situation. Saba further said that this could lead to someone violent or dangerous paying them a visit and things might not go too smooth when they try explaining what’s going on.
A number of attempts have been made to ascertain the cause of this mess but to no avail. Ken Westin is a security analyst who says that this could be happening because of an error in the ‘cell tower triangulation’ in one of the three towers that are situated close to the couple’s home. The couple has tried reaching out to T-Mobile but has not received any response.
The couple is frustrated because of all this and who can blame them? They are planning to file a complaint to the FCC and their senator. The couple is also hoping to get enough media coverage to pressurize the relevant authorities into providing them with some answers and hopefully a solution for this issue that they’re facing. Saba said, “Public pressure is how stuff like this changes. It sucks that it happens to us, but I hope our experience will lead it to not happening to anyone else.”