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Plucky Indonesian recovers lost iPhone with help from friends & police

29 April 2024


Police finally agreed to search the bus for the missing iPhone

How can one recover a lost, latest model iPhone? 

With a lot of determination and grit and a bit of luck, says this Indonesian woman who, against all odds, managed to track down her phone, then with help from the police, recovered it from an unrepentant minibus driver.

But that’s getting ahead with the story.

It all began on April 19 when Yanina Aprillia, a Hong Kong resident, realized her blue iPhone 15 was missing. She suspected she dropped it inside a minibus she took that day, but wasn’t sure. For days she used the “Find my iPhone” tracker but saw no sign of her phone  


Then about a week later she suddenly saw the phone’s location via GPS pop up. She saw the phone moving steadily between Lam Tin and Jordan a couple of times before stopping at the same place. When she searched the map, she found the pinpointed location to be a bus stop.

Yanina lost no time in going to the location and asking the driver of the bus identified in the locator if he found her phone, but he said no.

“Because of my curiosity I went inside the bus to see if my phone location moved exactly like the bus or moved to somewhere else,” said Yanina.


While seated behind the driver she saw that the phone’s location changed exactly in time with bus’ movement, from the time it left Jordan until it reached the end of the route in Lam Tin, and back.

As she said in her post in the Facebook group HK Moms, the tracker showed her to be in the same location as her phone the whole time.

Responding to suggestions that she call the police in, Yanina said she did exactly that twice. But each time she called 999 she was told to confront the driver herself.

She said she got the name of the bus driver from his driving licence but it did not help her at all as the police refused to investigate him.

The phone was found deeply buried in this container
Yanina went home that day feeling dejected.

Her apprehension grew when she saw the next day that the phone was no longer in the same places as before. Its location suddenly changed to Hong Kong island, starting with Exchange Square in Central. She thought that the bus driver had switched to driving taxis to elude her.

Luckily, some of her local friends got her connected to a WhatsApp group called Event and Leisure HK and the members there rallied to help her.

The very next day, one of her friends went in search of the bus and found it locked. Undeterred he called the police and managed to convince them to find the driver and get him to open the bus. 

It didn't take long before the police found the phone deeply hidden inside a container on the vehicle.

When questioned, the driver reportedly denied knowing anything about the phone at first, saying Yanina had already turned the bus upside down looking for it earlier, but did not see it anywhere.

But after the phone was found on his bus, he simply said another driver might have hidden it there.

Yanina was finally reunited with her phone

Though convinced that the driver had tried to take her phone away, Yanina said she decided not to press charges as she knew the investigation would take time and she did not want to be bothered by it anymore.

But she was all praises for the group that managed to get the police involved, leading to the recovery of her phone.

She was one of the few lucky ones who lost, but managed to find their phones back. Most other people who posted about their lost phones on social media said they never got them back, with many saying the last place where they managed to track them down was across the border, where presumably they would be dismantled and their parts sold by illicit traders.


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