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Short Film: Find my Phone – Subtitled

Short Film: Find my Phone – Subtitled


English translation by Caitlin Eagles “Nieuwezijds Kolk.” “This number is unavailable. Call 1888…” “Dam Square” “You can transfer here to lines 13, 14 and 17.” “Please remember to check out.” Each week 300 police reports are filed
against smartphone theft in The Netherlands. A little while ago I was having lunch in Amsterdam,
when my iPhone was stolen. By the time I realised my phone was gone and
I had called the police, it was already too late. On ‘find my iPhone’ I was able to see the last few meters
the thief had walked, before the phone went offline. Losing such an expensive phone wasn’t even my biggest concern. But the idea of a stranger having access to all my photos… videos, contacts, e-mails, and messages… The way in which the thief worked made me wonder. What kind of person would steal a phone? And where do these phones end up? To find out, I started an investigation. ‘Find my iPhone’ turned out to be of no use. The thief could simply take the SIM card out of the
phone and reset the phone so that it was untraceable. Besides, the internet provides different
services to unlock blocked iPhones. To find out what happens to stolen phones,
I decided to create a decoy phone. A phone that doesn’t just give the location, but with which you can also take photos, video’s and make audio recordings remotely. I bought an Android telephone and started working on it. The memory of an Android phone is divided into two parts. A system and a user part. When resetting the phone only the user part is
deleted, while the system part stays intact. Only when the phone is updated or if a different operating
system is put in place, the system part will be reset. I contacted the developer of the anti-theft app Cerberus and asked him
to change the name of the app, so it is not easily recognizable. By installing Cerberus on the system part of the phone, and by making
updates and flashing impossible, the app was impossible to delete. If the phone has an Internet connection, I can control it remotely. Now the easy part, the phone only had to be stolen. Although the plan was for the phone to be stolen,
I definitely did not want it to be provocation of theft. I prevented this by always making clear it was
obvious that the bag belonged to one of us. “Have they got it yet or not?” “No it’s still in there.” “They’re not paying attention to it anymore.” “They are leaving” “Oh, wait, look…” “They looked at it.” “No, they’re off again.” “The old man ruined it.” “They’re on the move again.”
– “They just keep on coming back.” “Are they leaving?” “That lady is going to say something.” “That man decided to stand next to it.” “Yes, yes, yes! Aw..” “Yes, yes, yes!” “No?”
-“No he got one of those cobbles.” “They are not looking at it.”
-“Hold on.” “He’s checking the environment. He’s
going for it. He’s walking back.” “Yes yes yes. Stay calm, stay calm. He’s there, stay there.” He’s going for it, he’s going for it..” “F*ck.” And after four unsuccessful days in
Rotterdam, we tried Amsterdam for a day. Approximately 17 phones are reported
stolen every day in Amsterdam. But even after a whole day in Amsterdam, having been at all
the tourist attractions, the phone was still in the bag. We gave up hope and waited for the metro on our way home. And right at that moment, when the camera wasn’t
rolling anymore, the phone finally got stolen. I had never been happy that something was stolen from me. You get it in focus using this… It is very black, see. The phone has just been stolen. In Amsterdam. And the fool hasn’t turned it off yet. It is still connected. Let’s see if we can follow it. He’s walking around the area of Amsterdam central station. I’m taking a photo… Send command. It took a picture. Maybe it’s inside a pocket. Record audio. Nieuwezijds Kolk. This number is unavailable. Call 1888… Dam Square. You can transfer here to lines 13, 14 and 17. Please remember to check out. Oh, it’s turned off. I can’t make a connection with the phone. Connection status says off. Damn. -It’s not necessary bad, we just wait until it’s turned back on. Because the theft was not recorded on camera, but I did want to
proof who the thief was, I decided to walk up to a police officer. My phone has just been stolen in the metro. Where can I report this? Did it happen just now?
-Yes, just now Do you have any idea who could have done it?
-Yes. In that case, what we can do is try to get the cctv surveillance footage. Hi Kim, this is (…). There has just been a theft at the metro… …so that’s why I’ll have a quick walk around there. I’ve told them they can report this
tomorrow and I’ll call headquarters now…” …so we can make an assignment of this, seen as
it’s just happened,we might have a chance I think. Research by the police resulted to nothing. The next day I reported the theft. You can read it through if you like.
-Yes And if you agree, you can sign where it says reporter. Is it alright for the insurance like this? But I can’t count on it that, you… You can have a look on the police station
where there is the lost and found. Everything that’s found today, will be there tomorrow. But I’m afraid it will be sold to an East European country. -Yes
Fort the parts. They take it apart and sell the different parts. We shall see. Thank you very much.
-Good luck. Now, we had to wait and see when the phone would be turned on again. But when the phone was still offline after four days, I started having doubts. Did I miss something? Or was the officer right and was the telephone taken apart? But that same night… I was just in bed and I got a message. New SIM card has been placed. New SIM card? Arabic number? So the app is still working. Somebody put a new SIM card in with credit on it. This means that it will be used, right this moment. So I’m going to try to log in. He’s trying to connect, so who knows, he’s searching… Yes! Connected! Take a photo, send command, ‘photo taken’ it says. I’ve received a photo. It’s laying somewhere on a table.Get installed apps list.He’s still got all my apps. He didn’t reset anything. Not cool if some thief searches through
everything on your phone, you know? You’d expect that they would reset the phone. But he didn’t even do that. Is it a very blunt person, is it just an opportunist,
do you think? His first phone theft? And if it’s not the same person it’s a buyer.
That is just as well punishable. I just looked up the location history and he went offline.
So, maybe that’s a sign he has lost his Wi-Fi connection. Oh, we have Wi-Fi again. -At 21:51, that’s when it got stolen. First location, Amsterdam. That’s when it was taken. We could hear through the recording that he went there
and apparently it was already switched to Arabic. 21:56 it was switched to Arabic. Then he went here. Where is this, also Amsterdam? Yes.
-Absolutely… Not. Mulhouse? Maybe it’s just a bug. Although he’s been to Maastricht as well. These aren’t just deviations, because these
are three different locations in Maastricht. He was in Maastricht at 5 am on the 23rd. Anyway, he’s been online again in Amsterdam,
The same place he’s often at. So that is his house. Let’s take a new photo. Maybe he’s changed it now. Being processed… -Something’s coming in… That’s it! Clear image! Is this him? -The person in question is a man, around 40,
45, short black hair, foreign looks, slightly coloured. Yes, this is him. This is the perpetrator of the theft. With a bit of luck I can do this all week. To find out as much as possible about the thief, I took
several pictures and recordings each day at different times. I only took video’s occasionally, because that costs a lot of data. Every evening I collected the location history. After I studied the location history properly later on, it appeared that
the phone was in the French town of Mulhouse the day after the theft. The saved location turned out to be a humanitarian institution. That same night the thief drove back to Amsterdam, via Maastricht. What did he do in Mullhouse? Did he collect something? Or someone? Whenever the phone was in contact with Wi-Fi, I made a backup of all the contacts, text messages, as well as the photos and videos on the telephone. The thief himself did not take any photos or videos. But my own photos were still on the phone one week after the theft. Only after two weeks he seemed to have removed them. In the call history I found two remarkable phone numbers. I called the provider of these numbers. Good afternoon (…). Yes, that is indeed our number. What sort of number is this? It’s just a sex line. And this was not the only time that my phone was used for porn. After a few days, the thief started to consider my phone as his. He added all his contacts and started texting people. One of those people he called Miss Russia. She told him it was her birthday recently
and he decided to give her a present. It seemed like he fancied her. After a few days they agreed to meet
at a cafe at the Rembrandt square. “How are you?” “How are you?”
-“Good, do you want to sit here or there?” Miss Russia seemed a bit strange. “I said, ladies and gentlemen, please have a look how the director
is behaving as a con-artist. Look how she’s changing my file.” “Which is good, ‘cause you never know what kind of things she wrote about me.” “I reported it, to the newspaper and to the mayor and everything.” “Did you really?”
-Of course! “I reported it to Amnesty International, to
Human Rights Watch, to the Russian television.” “I will go to court, if they push me in that direction I will do it.” “Damages, damage money, how much are you asking?” “1 million euro?” “1 milion euro?”
-“3 million, but no lawyer wants to do it.” After discussing this for hours, they say their goodbyes. “See you tomorrow.”
– “Yes tomorrow we have a phone call together.” In hindsight the thief seemed to understand
that she was not quite in her right mind. “What do you think? You think the Russian girl
and Claudia are normal? No, they’re junkies.” “I hang out with her on her level. I do what she wants,
so I get what I want. They are in love with me.” “Do they have feelings for you?”
– “Yes, they’re in love.” “I am a good person, I treat them right. I am not mean.” “They want me to call them more often.” “I know exactly how it works with them.
They want cocaine. They want to go out.” Still, he stayed in contact with her. The more data I collected from the
thief, the more sympathy I got for him. I got the feeling I really got to know him. He seems to be an Egyptian, because he spoke Arabic with an Egyptian
accent and every now and then he called an Egyptian number. I didn’t think the thief seemed like a standard criminal at all. I even started to feel sorry for him. During the day he hung out in alleyways in the
centre, coffee shops and in Amsterdam-East. At night he slept at a homeless shelter
or sometimes at a friend’s house. I thought he was a sad and lonely man. He seemed to take his religion seriously. “Don’t forget to pray every Friday, because on
Friday your prayer gets answered straight away.” “If you pray every hour for 24 hours on
Friday, then all your prayers get answered.” “For example, if you say ‘Oh God, give me… ‘ or
‘God, cure me’ and you are ill…” “Every hour! Every hour!” “At that moment God will listen to you and do as you ask.” Ironic that I recorded this conversation through a
telephone that he had stolen. One day he texted a friend, that he didn’t
even have enough money for the bus. Was he really that poor? I noticed that he often bought call credits. I realised that this was partially because I used his mobile data. I started to feel guilty. One night when he was asleep I upgraded his call credits remotely. After having followed the phone for
two weeks, he suddenly went offline. After a day without connection, I considered it was something to
do with his SIM card. Or maybe the telephone was stolen from him? I decided to call him. “Hello?” “Hello, who is this? Hello?” “Who is this? Yes.” “I dialled the wrong number, I’m sorry. Have a nice evening.” It was the thief. So the SIM card was still working. Was he perhaps abroad again? I went to Amsterdam to check the locations he often attended. I suspected if I wanted to find him, he would be in Amsterdam-North. Just as I was setting up the camera, two men came out of the house. It startled me. Suddenly I had made eye contact with the thief. In front of me, was a completely different person than I imagined. Nothing was left of the sad, kind man I thought I knew. I realised that the bond I thought I had
built with him was merely one sided. The aggressive attitude and smell of hasj
that surrounded him, made it clear to me; I don’t know this man in front of me at all. I quickly turned off the camera and left,
afraid that the thief would recognise me. Whatever happened to the telephone, I don’t know. I found out the phone went offline in between an
Italian-Egyptian restaurant and a telecom shop. That’s probably where the SIM card was removed. I don’t know what happened after that. What I do know is that whenever the
phone is connected to the internet… …the story continues. English translation by Caitlin Eagles 7 months later.Connection statusRomanian:
Device connected

100 thoughts on “Short Film: Find my Phone – Subtitled”

  1. If you produced more short films or movies, you would easily become a famous movie maker. The quality of this is just stunning. Well done.

  2. Just from picking up the unique device number (by the gsm-infrastructure) any stolen phone in use can be located with ease (with or without wifi). But police detectives will not give you the wherabouts, not even the new phone number after simcard removal — as I found out. What a poor service. Totally unlike the police traces your car after theft and helps you recover it. What makes the difference you think? The argument 'privacy', makes little sense.

  3. I live in crazy city and
    want to protect my Smartphone and Laptope please tell me the best software to use for it

  4. 18:25 He obviously thought what the fuck someone topped up my phone this is bugged, then got rid of it and put his sim in a new phone or something.

  5. Fascinating. Totally justified to track him – thief or receiver. But the thief did seem to have quite a pathetic life, so I got wh6 you felt sorry for him, but also he seemed to be quite an unpleasant person.

  6. Interesting, but more interesting – the shocking number of people walking by wearing Hijabs in the background of the shopping mall video footage before the theft. And… surprise, surprise: an Arabic SIM card pops up from the thief. The Netherlands has much bigger problems than stolen phones.

  7. There is something so soft and pathetic (and symbolic) about this film – it says so much about the Dutch. They have their country stolen and they feel nothing but sympathy for the thief. They simply can't see that he's not sympathetic and poor, but a depraved religious creep with no guilt whatsoever – and just like the phone, the Dutch will never get their country back and it seems like they are perfectly okay with that.

    My favourite quote: "he seemed to take his religion seriously."

    And haha – a "humanitarian institution" in Mulhouse. Perfect.

  8. New method to locate your smartphone android 2018
    https://trucportable.com/find-my-mobile-samsung-or-iphone/

  9. The guy portrayed as the thief is the wrong guy.

    Like Vagabondo writes in the comment section: "and as you recorded what happened in Rotterdam for 4 days and different people approaching the phone, you didn't even show us a second in Amsterdam subway! more doubtful you said you'd turned the camera off and were waiting for the metro to go home BUT YOU LEFT THE PHONE AT ITS PLACE?! and while cctv cameras cover every inch in the subway, the police couldn't see the thief?! why? where did you put the phone then? as you introduced that person as your phone thief, and didn't see any probability that that might be wrong, such as he bought it from the thief and didn't know what to do with the data in it because the phone was off for 4 days. despite all that he didn't recognize you at the end! and you didn't try to get your phone back, although you had made a police report to catch the thief and get the phone back, no?!"

  10. Great video! It'll be interesting to see if there's another chapter. Anthony van der Meer, maybe you can arrange a meeting with the thief – of course with security so it doesn't turn into something bad.

  11. Cant stop laughing: "I noticed that he often bought call credits. I realized that this was because I used his mobile data" xD

  12. Na een vlog van Vetgezellig kijk ik deze film maar echt super vet om dit te zien! Ben nu echt benieuwd naar je volgende werk!

  13. Zo vet, deze short film. Echt supergoed gemaakt en zo'n tof concept! En dan ook nog zo'n spannend verhaal. Ik hoop stiekem op een deel 2, haha.

  14. Anthony, would keeping location services off and toggle off history in maps, and when maps app isn’t in use switch it’s data connection button off and switch off camera and microphone to every possible app help? I know you can’t delete the photos and camera app and this very app isn’t in the list of apps in data connection so there isn’t an option to disconnect it from the internet. Also I put silver foil on the camera lenses.

  15. Dude although this might be old and you may never read this, I just have been waiting and its taking longer than expected.

  16. This is a really nicely done and intriguing story that I enjoyed watching.

    However, I find it a bit fishy that the phone was stolen as soon as the camera stopped rolling. Leaves me to believe that you simply gave the phone to someone who agreed to be spied on and that the whole thing was set up.

    I enjoyed it nonetheless.

  17. straight off the apps website, they now offer a disquized version as a apk thats named system framework. heres how you install it like he did to the system side. this is from the website of cerberus. "If my phone is rootede do i have access to more features? Yes! If you have rooted your device you can install Cerberus as a system application and get many additional features, including complete uninstall protection (Cerberus will survive a factory reset) and GPS auto-enabling when you start tracking the device.
    The easiest way to install Cerberus as a system app is with the "Convert to system app" feature of Link2SD: install the app, open it, long-press on Cerberus in the list of installed apps and select "Convert to system app". On Android 7 and above, since Link2SD does not work well, you can use the manual method via Terminal Emulator, explained in this post on our forum. Before executing those commands you have to uninstall Cerberus and copy the apk to /sdcard.
    If you rooted your device with Magisk, you can convert Cerberus to system app using the App Systemizer or Terminal App Systemizer module. On Android 8 and above, you will also need to install the Privileged Permission Whitelist module."

  18. Zo, ik snap wel waarom deze film viral is gegaan. Erg interessant om te zien. Goed gedaan 😀
    Ohja, ik ben hier via Vet gezellig 🙂

  19. Why wasn't this theft reported to the police? This stupid man should have been charged. I would love you to have started texting him photos of himself and seen his reaction.

  20. Make you think about Google whatsapp FB twitter ect spying and stealing our data and who easy it must be for them! The war has begun…

  21. Whats the notification tone that sounds in the video when the thief is watching porn? i used to use that tone on my s4 and once i listen to it on the video i wanted to use that tone again, but dont know the name =(

  22. 17:50 سرق التلفون وبدو ينصب على المرة الروسية لااكن لا يترك صلاة الجماعه مع الإمام
    للللللللله علييك ياا مؤمن

  23. Hello! Can you please tell me the name of the app that you used? And is there an iphone version please?

  24. So why did you censor his face? He stole your property. He clearly doesnt give a shit about laws. So why protect him??

  25. im watching this now because my iphone was stolen 3 days ago haha. awesome video! waiting for part 2.

  26. Hey man, ik ben een beetje laat maar ik vroeg me af hoe je die app in het OS gedeelte van de telefoon hebt gekregen.

  27. I love the part that he's taking his religion seriously, yet he's a thief, watchs porn,masturbates, lie , talk about people behind their backs, does cocaine and god knows what else.
    He's such a disgrace to his country and to his religion as well.

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