Why do people steal phones in this day and age?

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About two months ago my friend was in China and her phone got stolen. The other week my friend's phone got stolen in Australia. One of my friends warned me to be careful with my phone in China or it might get stolen. I ignored this warning thinking that having a passcode on my phone makes it useless to a thief and the fact it can be tracked makes it worse than useless. I got lucky.

These days any phone worth having will use a passcode or fingerprint or facial recognition software to unlock the phone. All phones worth having can also be tracked by the user.

I've come up with two possible reasons why someone might steal a phone despite this.

-Throw away the phone and use the sim card to commit other crimes
-The user was recorded entering the passcode before the phone was stolen

Are these reasons above just bullshit I've made up or are they valid? Are there other reasons I haven't thought of?
 

ThoD

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About two months ago my friend was in China and her phone got stolen. The other week my friend's phone got stolen in Australia. One of my friends warned me to be careful with my phone in China or it might get stolen. I ignored this warning thinking that having a passcode on my phone makes it useless to a thief and the fact it can be tracked makes it worse than useless. I got lucky.

These days any phone worth having will use a passcode or fingerprint or facial recognition software to unlock the phone. All phones worth having can also be tracked by the user.

I've come up with two possible reasons why someone might steal a phone despite this.

-Throw away the phone and use the sim card to commit other crimes
-The user was recorded entering the passcode before the phone was stolen

Are these reasons above just bullshit I've made up or are they valid? Are there other reasons I haven't thought of?
Tracking can be disabled and if you have the tools, you can easily unlock any phone too, so with that in mind, they steal the phone, disable tracking or whatever (which btw only works if they leave it on) and break the lock (with special circuit boards that go as cheap as 2$), then they disable any locks completely and sell it.
 
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Deleted-355425

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When phones are worth £1000+ of course they are going to be stolen, they are small and easy to pick up and conceal.
 

TeamScriptKiddies

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Most thieves are just going to flip the stolen phone ASAP. They steal it and sell it as quickly as possible, they don't necessarily care if the tracking is enabled etc as they likely won't be the ones caught red handed with the stolen phone. Usually the poor sap that unknowingly buys a stolen phone will have it by then, meaning the thief got their money for drugs or whatever without any consequences that they have to deal with. This I believe is the most common occurrence...
 

The Real Jdbye

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My quesion is, why do people leave their $800 phones laying around to be stolen? If my phone isn't charging by my bed, it's in my hand, or pocket. I don't set it down for anything. Nada. Why do people pretend to live in a world without desperate thieves?
Pickpockets are a thing.
Tracking can be disabled and if you have the tools, you can easily unlock any phone too, so with that in mind, they steal the phone, disable tracking or whatever (which btw only works if they leave it on) and break the lock (with special circuit boards that go as cheap as 2$), then they disable any locks completely and sell it.
Not newer iPhones. If they're protected with an iCloud account it's completely impossible to unlock them without social engineering.
 

ThoD

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Pickpockets are a thing.

Not newer iPhones. If they're protected with an iCloud account it's completely impossible to unlock them without social engineering.
You do understand that all it takes is to open it up and replace a few CMDs, right?:P Sure, they can be hard to find depending on the model, but not impossible, especially if you got a whole racket going on...
 

The Real Jdbye

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You do understand that all it takes is to open it up and replace a few CMDs, right?:P Sure, they can be hard to find depending on the model, but not impossible, especially if you got a whole racket going on...
I looked into this before in an attempt to help someone, it's not possible to unlock iCloud without the password or recovery info.
What do you mean "replace some CMDs", I'm pretty sure that's not how electronics work.
 
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DinohScene

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I looked into this before in an attempt to help someone, it's not possible to unlock iCloud without the password or recovery info.
What do you mean "replace some CMDs", I'm pretty sure that's not how electronics work.

Replace the flash chips n what not.
The mainboard likely gets send to China where they desolder the info bearing chips and solder in new ones.
Reprogram it and it gets thrown back into sales.
 

ThoD

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Replace the flash chips n what not.
The mainboard likely gets send to China where they desolder the info bearing chips and solder in new ones.
Reprogram it and it gets thrown back into sales.
This. The latest iPhone security chips are tiny, but with a precision soldering equipment, it's a joke to do.
 

leon315

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Tc, I was in China so many times and my wallet and phones are always with me, I think that's all your fault by not paying full attention to it
 

The Real Jdbye

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Replace the flash chips n what not.
The mainboard likely gets send to China where they desolder the info bearing chips and solder in new ones.
Reprogram it and it gets thrown back into sales.
Oh, that would obviously work. Not something most thieves are going to bother with though I think.
 
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ThoD

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i know someone who can perform tiny soldering.
If you can solder without mistakes, all you need to do is use a needle tip soldering iron and you are good to go, just careful not to overheat the parts next to the ones you are modifying. 340C heat should be just about right.
 

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My quesion is, why do people leave their $800 phones laying around to be stolen? If my phone isn't charging by my bed, it's in my hand, or pocket. I don't set it down for anything. Nada. Why do people pretend to live in a world without desperate thieves?
I can't believe that people still try to justify thieves in 2018. It's like saying that women deserve to be raped should they go around with certain clothes.

So yes, people do have the right to leave their phones on the table without anybody taking it. And they also have the right to seek help if something like this happens without getting judged. My MacBook doesn't have a Kensington lock (thanks Apple) but I still need to take it with me everywhere. Do you somehow think that I deserve to have my stuff stolen just because I'm forced to use it a lot outside my home?
 
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