The man and his friend had visited an Airtel showroom in Chennai when their phones went missing.

How two Chennai men found an iPhone thief by luring him with a fake job offerSimeon and Jaffer
news Crime Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 15:08

When Simeon, a young medical representative, went to the Airtel showroom in Purasawalkam, Chennai on Wednesday, little did he expect that less than 24 hours later he would be on the trail of a thief.

Simeon had lost his nano SIM card and went to get it replaced. However, as soon as he stepped out of the showroom, he realised he did not have his phone on his person. When he went back inside, the phone was nowhere to be found.

Though he filed a police complaint, a chain snatching incident took prominence at the Kilpauk police station. Simeon then called on his friend Jaffer to help him. The duo took it upon themselves to nab the culprit.

Speaking to TNM, Simeon says, “First we asked the Airtel showroom for the CCTV footage. We had a doubt on two people who were inside with us. They were acting suspicious in the footage. We memorized their faces. We asked the showroom what they had come for. We also took the number that they had given to them. But it was a SIM card registered in Bihar and it hadn’t been activated yet. So we put it out on social media like Facebook, Messenger, Truecaller.”

The showroom handing out private information they had collected from other customers does raise questions. For Simeon’s luck however it turned out to be that of the thief.

Simeon and Jaffer finally found the person via Facebook Messenger and got through to his Facebook profile. However, messages to the profile were not returned. This is when Simeon and Jaffer intensified their efforts to nab the man.

“We saw his profile picture. It was similar to the CCTV footage. When he didn’t reply to our message, we saw the comments on his profile picture and messaged the guys who had commented saying ‘mast’ and all. We found his close friend who went to school with him in Bihar. We started messaging him but he didn’t give the number. So we asked our North Indian friend to talk in his slang and tell him that we had found him a job. He finally gave us the number. Our friend posed as a consultant who wanted to give him a job and asked him where he was.”

Simeon and Jaffer set up a meeting on Wednesday night near a water tank in Madhavaram but the man never showed up. So the duo went early the next day to look for him in the area. Finally having found him, they confronted the man who immediately relented and gave them the phone.

Speaking to TNM, Jaffer says, “We use social media a lot. So we thought somehow we can find him. His display picture wasn’t anywhere, not even om WhatsApp. But when we tracked him through Messenger, we caught him and handed over to the police. My friend was very upset. He already has three EMIs. He felt bad that for a lost phone, he will have to pay EMI. Our only fear was that the guy might flee to Bihar. That’s why we went early morning. We told his employer as well.”

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