Some Guy Always Gets Blamed for Lost Phones That He Never Stole Because of a Horrible Location Glitch

Illustration for article titled Some Guy Always Gets Blamed for Lost Phones That He Never Stole Because of a Horrible Location Glitch

Las Vegas, the amazing place that sucks souls, wallets and dignities, is also really good at swallowing cell phones. Drunk, partying, WHOOPS. And whenever a phone is lost, people who use location services to find their lost phones always seem to track it back to the same place: Wayne Dobson's house. But the thing is, Wayne Dobson never stole a phone. Instead, a glitch with Sprint is making it appear as if their phone is inside Dobson's house—even if it's not.


It's so bad that Dobson has posted a sign outside his house that says:


This location gives a false "phone locator" position due to a cell tower behind the home. Please contact the North Las Vegas police and file a report


For the past two years, the poor guy has been interrupted at all hours (it is Vegas, after all) by people screaming and accusing him of stealing iPhones that he's never actually stole. It's so frequent that on weekends, Dobson sleeps near the door because he knows that people are eventually going to come knocking on his door.


The problem started in 2011 when a couple came knocking. Then another person. Then more. After a while, people started showing up with tablets and laptops pointing his house as the exact location of their lost phone. But it's never inside his house. Even worse, police are sometimes sent to his house from nearby people who call 911. The GPS coordinates of the 911 phone call reveal Dobson's house as the origin (even though he never called).

So what's the deal? Why is the location always so screwy? It might be a nearby Sprint cell tower that's affecting the coordinates of phones in the area. Experts think it may be a problem with the switchboard, that software is "incorrectly translating coordinates to Dobson's house". Whatever it is, it sure sucks to be accused of stealing phones when you didn't do anything. Dobson might as well just steal one and be done with it. [LVRJ]

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Seeing that this is America we're talking about, to see no lawsuit mentioned in the article really comes as a surprise.