I have never used Craigslist.com before, but after this weekend I might consider it.
Here’s the story… My wife and I were leaving the hotel where one of our Ohio congregations has Church services when she sees something happen in the highway that runs in front of the hotel: a white SUV zooms by and something black seems to fly off of it, land on the ground and slide to a stop in the middle of the road. It looked to be something like a personal planner or something, which made our hearts sink for the poor person who just lost it.
In the hopes that we could return it to its owner, we retrieved it from the highway only to find out that it was an iPad. Thankfully it was in a rubbery sort of holder which was, in turn, in a padded black zipper bag, so it had been spared any damage from the fall. However, it was locked with a password, and the only thing we could see on it was a slideshow of images, none of which seemed to contain any information that would identify the owner. There was nothing in the bag, either. I Googled for a while on my phone, looking for info about hacking passwords to see if there was a quick fix (maybe something like the “cheat codes” used to start cars without their keys), but there was nothing that would have been within my meager little radius of ability. I left our phone number at the hotel on the off chance that the poor person might get home and think, “Maybe it was that ‘thunk” I heard outside as I passed that hotel,” but we figured that there wasn’t much else that could be done there.
The next day (Sunday) we tried our local Apple Store to see if they could track the owner down using the serial number or something of that sort, but they said they could not. The Apple Store staff said that unless the owner had purchased a MobileMe account that they could use to locate the iPad (or “brick” it), he or she just might be out one iPad. So, we resolved ourselves to calling the two Apple Stores in the town where it the hotel was to see if someone had come in sobbing and asking about how to find a lost iPad, while we looked around for more ideas.
And an idea came! Someone said that Craigslist has “Lost and Found” listings and that we could try that. It seemed a long shot, but my wife checked it out and, sure enough, there was a note there that seemed to fit the situation perfectly! She contacted the poster who was able to confirm that it was, indeed, her iPad, even sending along a picture that matched one of those on the slide show.
As I type this, my wife is heading off to the post office to return this very happy iPad owner’s device to its home a few states away. (It was a brand new one, too–only a few days after purchase!) What a great ending.