Found A Samsung J4 phone


Hey, I found a Samsung Galaxy J4 phone almost two weeks ago outside a bar in downtown Chicago, I got home and on Monday I called the carrier AT&T and gave them the IEMI number, they said they would notify the person and give them my contact info and they will contact me to get the phone. It has been 10 days and no contact. How long do I give for them to call, or maybe they just got a new phone?

So, after another week or so, If they do not want it, how do I keep it? It has a screen lock on it. I cannot access their contact info or anything. Is this even a good phone?


Depending on where you are located, you could walk into an AT&T store and speak to one of the tech people there.

Explainthe situation - make sure to tell them you have already provided the IEMI info to AT&T and have not heard from anyone.

Perhaps they can unlock the phone and call the owner again directly - or maybe wipe the phone nad do a factory reset.

Is the phone locked into AT&T - or can it be used with any carrier ?


I have no idea! I cannot get into the phone to find out anything. :wink:


Since you found it outside of a business you should have turned it in where you found it. By taking it home you could potentially be charged with theft, its not unheard of:


Do not attempt to use the phone. Do not try to keep it. Do not pass go. Do not collect $100.

That is not your phone. Attempting to keep and use it is theft, and it would be a misdemeanor criminal offense with appropriate fines or jail time.

Taking the phone home was absolutely the wrong thing to do; it needs to go to the Police or to the bar where it was lost. You can tell the police you wish to keep the item it is unclaimed, but Illinois law requires a 6 month waiting period.


It was outside near about 10 bars! I would have NO idea where it came from! It was on a sidewalk. I asked people standing around that area, and no one saw anything or knew anything. I didn’t STEAL it! :frowning:


According to the legal definition of theft, you have stolen it. It’s up to you to turn it over to the police and make it right.


Ok, well thanks for that info. I will deal with it on my own. Don’t understand why so hostile. But whatever. I called AT&T immediately to inform them of the phone being lost, and they contacted the owner…so I did what I could. I’m good with it.


I apologize if you saw my intent as hostile. I just wanted to make sure you understood the seriousness of the situation.

But again, AT&T isn’t the person you’re supposed to call. The police (and the County Clerk in your state) are the ones who oversee found property.


We aren’t calling you a criminal, just informing you that is the way the law looks at it. That is the world we live in, no good deed goes unpunished as they say.


Ok, thanks! I will sit around and wait to hear…I know if I lost my phone, I would be calling my phone provider immediately!! I have no idea why this person hasn’t! I only wish I could access the phone to find their number and I would call it or someone on their contact list. Maybe I will call AT&T again.


I’m a little confused… why are you unwilling to take it to the Police station, like you should do?

Here’s the Illinois law. Actually, it looks like you’re required to take it to the courthouse, where the county clerk will advertise it as lost.


One of the first things I do when I get a new phone is put a phone number on the lock screen to call if found, but some people don’t know or care enough to do that.


Sorry, I don’t live there~ I found it…I asked around with people there…no one claimed it. I googled what to do to find the owner, and it said to call the carrier, which I did. Geez dudes…I did’t NOT go to the police intentionally. I thought I was doing the right thing trying to find the owner. I think I will just delete this post, because I was asking for help and it seems all I am getting is judgment. This sucks!


Honestly, we’re just trying to help you do the right thing. And the right thing isn’t to steal the phone.

The thing is, you say you thought you were doing the right thing, but you’re trying to claim the phone after having it for two weeks… and that’s clearly not the right thing. You know that now, and you know what the right thing is - to return it to the PD or the County Clerk.

And no one wants to be party to theft by helping you unlock the phone that you don’t own. Speaking for myself, helping you do so puts me in conflict with my employers and my client and would not only get me fired from my job, but would forever bar me from working in the field I’m in.

While you weren’t aware of it, you literally came in and asked us how to steal something. Now that you know what you were asking for is stealing, the ball’s in your court.

Do you become a thief or an honorable person?


I understand, but I THOUGHT I was doing the right thing, unfortunately the right thing YOU guys want me to do, I cannot do! I live 300 miles away! SO…I sit and wait.


Mail it to the police with a brief note just saying when and where you found it. I suggest not signing the note nor putting your name and address anywhere.


So I’m going to sum this up, then lock this thread, since it’s not going to go anywhere useful:

  • A lost item is one that was unintentionally separated from its owner. This means something was dropped or left behind by mistake.
  • Items found in a business (store, resaurant, bar) should be turned over to the business owner.
  • Items found elsewhere should be turned over to the local police.
  • You can ask to claim the found item, but this usually takes at least 3 months, but can take much longer in some places.
  • Taking a found item as yours is theft, and you can be fined or receive jail time.

Asking how to unlock a cell phone (or computer or game console) so you can keep it is evidence of theft, unless you have already gone through the process described above and have legally claimed the device as your property.

Thank you, everyone, for your input. I’m going to close this thread now, since I think the subject has been covered as well as we can expect.