My nana’s iPhone got stolen out of a bathroom — here’s how Apple helped her get it back

iPhone surrounded by question marks
(Image credit: Future)

Losing my iPhone has got to be the thing I’m greatest at. I’ve got that good old mom brain where I’m exhausted and I place my phone down in the silliest spots, just forget where I placed it. I’m lucky in the sense that I’ve only really done this at home (though there were times I had to run back into the occasional restaurant or bathroom), but my nana was a little less fortunate. Her iPhone was stolen straight out of a bathroom (yes, I understand the irony).

It’s an “oh shoot” moment when you misplace something as outrageously priced as an iPhone. The mini heart attack sets in and the dread of not knowing what to do can linger over you. However, Apple offers a few different solutions when you lose your iPhone, and these came to my nana’s rescue.

Find your iPhone device

Lost or stolen iPhones aren’t a new problem, so Apple is ready to help locate your iPhone if you lose it. One is to download the Find My app. Not only is this app helpful for locating a lost iPhone, but it can also help you track family members or partners when they’re venturing out into the world on their own. Let’s face it, the world is a terrifying place, and the Find My app can take away that stress, along with the stress of misplacing your iPhone.

My nana’s iPhone got stolen out of a bathroom — here’s how Apple helped her get it back

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The next solution, which is the one my family used when my nana lost her iPhone, is to go to Apple’s Lost or Stolen webpage. There you will see step-by-step instructions on what to do, but we’ll break it down here quickly for you. 

On a computer or any device with access to a browser, you’ll want to go to Here you’ll need to log into the Apple account of the stolen or lost device. If you need help getting into your account, you can call Apple

Once you’re in your account, you need to select the device that's lost and from there you can use the site to locate your phone on a map (this option may not be available if your phone isn’t on). 

Next, select the “Mark as Lost” option on the site. This will allow you to send a message to your iPhone (and potentially to the person holding your phone), to which you can leave a phone number and message. 

Finally, you’ll need to select the “Activate” option to lock your phone so that the person with your phone can’t access it anymore. 

What happened to my nana’s iPhone?

I got the call almost an hour after my nana had misplaced her phone, which we later discovered was stolen. She placed it down in the bathroom stall (pockets for women’s clothes are terrible, amirite?). By the time she realized her phone wasn’t with her, she had already left for home and had to turn around to try to retrieve it. When she arrived, the phone was nowhere in sight.

My nana’s iPhone got stolen out of a bathroom — here’s how Apple helped her get it back

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

My nana is not tech-savvy whatsoever, so my sister took over the effort to find the iPhone.  Since my nana didn’t have access to her information, my sister had to call Apple to bypass the two-step authentication factor. 

Apple was absolutely amazing. The representative screen shared with my sister to show her the step-by-step process for how to locate and lock the iPhone. Once she was in the account, she sent a message to the iPhone so that the person who stole it could read it. She even set off an alarm.

My sister could deactivate the usage of the phone without deactivating the mobile service, so she can shut off any apps and features but not interrupt the phone’s data plan (she didn’t do this, though). 

Though my sister would’ve likely pulled up to the house, my dad called the phone so that he could speak to the person who took it, and they made a plan to drop it off at the police station so my dad could pick it up.

Bottom line

Apple’s Find My feature offers great assistance for anyone who loses their iPhone, and the representative’s support during the process of locating and locking your stolen product is phenomenal. Thanks to the feature, my nana was able to relocate her phone 

I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but don’t go to someone’s house or location on your own. Once Apple has helped you track down your iPhone or other Apple device, you can notify local law enforcement to help you obtain your lost or stolen products.