Senior Heinrich follows stranger around Ann Arbor to get her phone back


On Oct 6, Pioneer senior Kimora Heinrich lost her phone during 5th hour. Kimora spent the next two hours following a stranger around Ann Arbor trying to get her phone back. If it wasn’t for the iOS Find My Phone app, Heinrich says she never would have found her phone. 


When Heinrich first realized her phone was missing, her 5th hour teacher allowed her to search around the building for it. Heinrich looked in her previous classes, the bathrooms, and even the parking lot but had no luck finding her phone. 


When she was not able to find her phone, she said she was not super worried yet. “I hoped that someone took it and would give it back at the end of the day,” she said. Heinrich had no idea what she was about to go through in order to find her phone. 


As she was heading to her 6th hour, she saw her friend, Pioneer senior Aleana Jones, in the hallway. She says she  told Aleana how she spent the last hour trying to find her phone and was unable to find it. Aleana reminded Heinrich that she has Heinrich’s location connected to  her own phone and they would be able to use the Find My app to track Heinrich’s phone through Jones’s phone.


As soon as Jones pulled up the app they saw that Heinrich’s phone was pinned in a very odd place: The Michigan football stadium. “We thought it was a glitch,” Heinrich said.


Many people, like Heinrich, lose their phones every year. This can cause a lot of stress since there is a lot of important information and data in one’s phone. In one study, researchers found that about 113 phones go missing per minute, which is equivalent to 30 million phones missing in a year, according to data published by CNBC in 2012. And specifically for iPhone users, a recent viral TikTok showed users how to outsmart thieves who often turn off tracking programs like Find My Phone. Go to the Face Id and Passcode section on your settings where you can disallow access to pull-down notifications.That means that a thief won’t be able to turn on the Airplane Mode and stop you from losing access to the phone.


Many people have found the Find My app very helpful. Not only does it track phones, it is able to track other iOS products like iPad, MacBooks and Air Tags. This feature saves people from having to spend money on a brand new phone. There are many reviews on the Find My app. Reviewers say things like, “this app helped me track down my phone that was stolen” and many “recommend” the app since it seems to work. And it definitely worked for Kimora Heinrich. 


Heinrich and Jones spent all of their 6th hour that day searching for Kimora’s phone. They drove to the stadium to a bus stop where her phone was pinging as located. When they got there they only saw a middle aged woman standing alone by the bus stop, and neither girl recognized her. After the woman got on the bus they saw the pin point for Kimora’s phone begin moving along with the direction of the bus. 


So Heinrich and Jones, who were in Jones’s car,  followed the bus. “I was confused that a grown woman (who I had never seen) had my phone,” Heinrich said, adding that she “felt relieved,” that she finally knew generally where her phone was. Both girls followed the bus deep into downtown Ann Arbor until the bus eventually stopped at its next location, the Blake Transit Center on 4th Avenue.


When the bus pulled over and stopped Heinrich and Jones took their chances and parked illegally behind the bus, but had no idea what they would do if the woman got off the bus.. As they were discussing what to do, a security guard came up to them, telling them they were not allowed to park behind the bus. They told the security guard what had happened. He walked up to the woman and confronted her about the phone. The woman reached into her pocket and gave the security guard the phone and it turned out to be Heinrich’s. “(I guess) She found it in the (Pioneer) parking lot and may have been associated with Pioneer,” Heinrich said, adding that she has no idea if the woman intended to take the phone to Pioneer’s lost and found, But Heinrich notes that if that security guard hadn’t shown up,  “(the woman) probably wouldn’t have given (the phone up,” so she’s grateful for how everything turned out.


Heinrich and Jones felt a big sigh of relief after driving around Ann Arbor all afternoon. After the big search, both girls said they realized how important activating the “find my phone” feature is.“We definitely would not have found my phone if it weren’t for this feature. Thank you Apple,” said Heinrich