In the modern world, our phones are more than just communication devices; they’re extensions of our lives. Losing your phone can feel like losing a part of yourself. But what are the real odds of tracking your stolen phone? Let’s take a closer look.
Phone tracking, or determining the geographical location of a mobile phone, is not as straightforward as it seems. While it’s technically possible through GPS, cell towers, or third-party apps, these methods just narrow it down to an area where the phone last pinged. If the thief disassembles your phone or performs a factory reset on Android devices, tracking becomes nearly impossible.
Built-in Security Features: Not Always Reliable
Manufacturers have introduced built-in security features to track lost devices. These features can locate the device, lock it, and even erase data remotely. While these features help keep your data safe, it is highly unlikely they will help you locate your Smartphone.
Every phone has a unique 15-digit International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. This number can technically track your phone, even if the SIM card has been removed. However, thieves often change IMEI numbers to avoid detection.
Third-party apps like “Find My iPhone” and “Find My Mobile” can help track your device. But again, these apps are only effective if the thief doesn’t factory reset your phone and keep the device connected to internet services.
Reporting to DCI: A Dead End?
The last resort is reporting your stolen phone to the police, they will often point you towards the office of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), but this often doesn’t yield results. An anonymous source tells me hundreds of lost phones get reported stolen daily, and they just rot in unsolved files as the DCI can’t afford to allocate resources to all the cases. Unfortunately, corruption is also a significant issue in the office, you may need to bribe officials to expedite the process, and even then, the odds are just slightly raised.
Not to say the DCI doesn’t put in work, however, ever so often, the sleuths arrest a mastermind behind the theft of mobile phones and recover hundreds of stolen phones all at once, but what are the odds you get to find yours there? close to none.
When Phones Get Tracked
While this is my opinion, I find that phones tend to get tracked when there’s a crime committed during the theft, such as a murder. In these cases, law enforcement agencies may put more effort into tracking the device.
In conclusion, while there are methods available to track and recover your stolen phone in Kenya, the odds are unfortunately not in your favor. The best defense is prevention. Always keep your phone secure and regularly back up your data to minimize potential losses.