the perils of high-tech

Phone Location Glitch Makes Las Vegas Man Really, Really Popular

Photo: iStockphoto

Wayne Dobson, a 59-year-old retiree from Las Vegas, has had a lot of new visitors recently, owing to a glitch in cell-phone-locating technology — like Apple’s “Find My iPhone” feature — that has wrongly directed people looking for their lost phones to his front door.

The glitch, which seems to be limited to Sprint customers, has made a living hell of Dobson’s quiet existence. Now angry phone users accost him at all hours of the night, demanding that he return their stolen property.

It’s very difficult to say, ‘I don’t have your phone,’ in any other way other than, ‘I don’t have your phone,’” Dobson told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

But Dobson’s dilemma isn’t all annoyance and lost sleep. It almost got him into a tussle with police.

About two weeks later he was awakened at 4 a.m. by a person prowling along the side of his house. Dobson followed a flashlight beam to his bathroom window. When he looked out, the person flashed the light in his face.

I screamed at him, ‘Who are you? Get out of my yard!’ ” Dobson said. “And he said, ‘We’re the police, open the door.’ ”

North Las Vegas cops had received a 911 call from a woman on a cellphone who was arguing with a man. The argument was escalating, but dispatchers weren’t able to get a location from the woman.

They looked at the location of the phone and sent officers, who arrived minutes later at Dobson’s house. He was taken outside to his front yard and searched. When officers realized the mistake, they apologized.

Dobson said he is grateful that he didn’t confront the officers with a weapon.

“I would have been on the losing end, and it would have been because of that issue,” he said.

AT&T and/or Verizon Wireless, sign this man up as a spokesman immediately.

Phone Glitch Makes Las Vegas Man Popular