phone and laptops recovered with prey 2018

Lost, Found, and Recovered: 8 Great Stories From our Users in 2018

It’s always great to see Prey adapt to each circumstance and help our users pull through! So let’s review some of 2018’s stories, shall we?

We receive all sort of stories every day from users. From the simple ‘I lost my phone and it was right in front of me’ to the ‘my employee faked his death and ran away’. Yes. That actually happened. This year wasn’t the exception, so we have prepared a diverse collection of stories for you, let’s dive right in!


Mother-in-law did it

A user from San Bruno, CA, reported that he noticed his phone missing after returning from a “Star Wars” screening. While his wife reminded him that he misplaced things all the time, he looked in all the usual places without turning up the phone. So he turned on Prey, and the geolocation feature indicated that the phone was in Saratoga, CA, about an hour away.

When he asked his wife, “why would it be in Saratoga,” she remembered that her mother had gone to dinner there on Saturday night. Connecting the dots, they determined that she had taken the phone accidentally, put it in her bag, and then somehow thought that it had been dropped into her bag in Saratoga. She had left it at the restaurant, and there it remained.

Without Prey locating the phone at the same restaurant frequented by the user’s mother in law, it would have been impossible to figure who had taken the phone. He had it back the next day!

Dirt bike disaster

This user, from Shasta Lake, CA, wrote to say that her husband was out riding his dirt bike with his NEW phone in his pocket. When he realized the phone was missing, he called her and asked that she locate it with their family tracking app.

She was able to send him a screenshot of the regional map, then logged into Prey to lock the phone in case someone else found it first. Once the phone was marked as “missing,” Prey began sending reports, which included a picture taken with both cameras, the longitude and latitude of its location, and a google map of its location, which she then sent to her husband (on another phone) so he could pinpoint the location. He husband was able to find the phone in less than 30 minutes, completely unscathed.

Fast, faster, fastest!

We also heard from a lot of users who left their phones in cabs and recovered them. We organized them by recovery time to show how different each case can be, and how fast Prey can go!

48 hours:

A Washington, DC, user, who had left his phone in a cab, didn’t notice it was gone until he was at dinner. Prey helped determine that the phone was most likely still in the cab. He contacted the car company, which contacted the driver. Two days later, he had his phone back.

6 hours:

A similar story comes from Montreal, Canada, where a user says his phone slipped from his pocket while he was in a cab. After calling his missing phone multiple times and getting no answer, he turned on Prey Anti-Theft. Right away he got an answer from the driver and they arranged a meeting. He was able to retrieve his phone six hours after realizing it was lost.

10 minutes:

An Indianapolis user was able to retrieve his phone in only 10 minutes. As soon as he realized it was missing, he used Prey to grab a face photo, lock the phone and display a warning message to the thief. Using the physical address and background of the images, he was able to recover the phone from the thief.

Finding lost laptops

Phones are not the only protagonists! We also helped several users who misplaced laptops, like former employees who had failed to surrender her organization’s laptop, or the one story about a dishonest roommate who tried to steal our user’s laptop and keep it a secret!

Rogue Employee, retrieved in one day

A rogue employee in NYC took along a company laptop when she left her job. Using Prey Anti-Theft, the company was able to track the laptop down. They asked that it be returned to avoid legal action. Although the former employee pretended to be visiting with family, she was actually working for another company when they located her! “Prey helped us recover an expensive company laptop, the latest MacBook Pro.”

Dishonest Roommate, laptop returned in 28 days

A San Francisco user writes that his roommate broke into his locked bedroom and took his laptop. As soon as he noticed it was gone, he set Prey to “missing” mode. When the roommate attempted to use the laptop a few days later, he noticed it was protected from unauthorized use by Prey. The laptop was discreetly placed in the same location it was taken from weeks earlier. The shady roommate is now being evicted, and the user is looking for a more trustworthy neighbor.

Didn’t have Prey at all, recovered in 4 days.

Finally, one of the tricky cases! What happens when your coworker’s laptop is stolen at a bar late at night, and he had forgotten to install Prey? Well, that wasn’t an issue for this user in Leeds, UK, who managed to remotely install it by using a file transfer software and terminal commands.

With a little patience and a few tricks with the tools they had at their disposal, they managed to set up Prey correctly and add the laptop to their account. After a few days, they got enough evidence from Prey’s reports to identify a stall in the local marketplace where the laptop was being held, and the next day it was retrieved by the police

That’s all for this year’s roundup of stories! If you have your own, share it with us and we’ll be more than happy to share it with the world. 


When things like this happen, better be ready. 

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