How to Locate a Stolen Phone

By John Hewitt

Cell phones with a Global Positioning System use the same radio towers that carry their signal to triangulate their geographical position. This same system can be used to track phones that are lost or stolen. While this does not guarantee that you will be able to retrieve a stolen phone, it will allow you to provide its location so you can either find it or report it to the police. In some cases, the cell phone will not necessarily need to have GPS to be effectively tracked.

Step 1

Log onto the web interface of the GPS service provided by your phone. You may have to register for it if you have not already. This should display the location of your phone within 100 yards, but it may not be effective if the thief has already replaced your SIM card.

Step 2

Contact your wireless service provider to report the phone as lost or stolen. Call the customer service phone number, or use the form on their website.

Step 3

Gather the documentation that came with your phone proving that you are the original owner. The serial number of the phone is particularly important, as it identifies the phone itself rather than the owner of the SIM card.

Step 4

Consider filing a police report regarding the stolen phone. Bring your phone documentation to the police station. Report the theft and keep all copies of police documents for your records. The police may be able to track the phone and recover it from the thief.

Step 5

Contact your wireless service provider again and inform them of your police report. They may request that you provide copies of the documents. Ask the provider to inform you when the thief activates the phone. The service provider should allow you to keep your phone number and contract with a new phone despite the theft if you provide all documentation when asked.