This is why we can’t have good things.
A 53-year-old woman in Fredericksburg, VA was just minding her own business when she spotted an unclaimed iPhone near a 7-Eleven convenience store on Lafayette Boulevard, reports NBC Washington. As any good samaritan would attempt (seriously, there aren’t enough people who will do what she did), she tried to contact the phone’s rightful owners to return the lost device. At the meet up point near where the iPhone was originally found, the woman gave the item back to the couple who claimed to own the phone and was offered a cash reward. After the transaction was completed, however, the male owner attacked the woman from behind before stealing the money back and fleeing the area.
“The victim was walking away when the male grabbed her from behind and threw her to the ground,” NBC Washington reports. “He took the money back and kicked her while she was still on the ground… The male and female iPhone owners left the area in a gold Honda Accord.”
While the incident is still under police investigation, what everyone wants to know is why the owners would do such a thing? Did the woman steal any intellectual property stored inside the phone or tampered with it in any way? Unless we’re missing half of the story, it also did not seem like the woman returning the phone sought monetary reward. The cash offered was reportedly “small,” so assaulting a 53-year-old woman to get it back seemed highly unreasonable especially after she just gave back what could have earned her more than what she received as “reward.” The possibility of the situation being staged as a scam also seems unlikely, since the owners would have stolen back their own money each time a meeting is arranged with new strangers.
We previously reported that less than half of lost phones ever make it back to their owners, and now it seems that not only do people purposely steal them, returning the phone also pose a dangerous situation. You just can’t win in this sick, sad world.
In the meantime, don’t let this discourage you from being a do-gooder. If you ever come across a lost item that you want to return, arrange a meeting in a public and brightly lit location. You can also bring along a friend in case anything goes wrong. Accept cash reward at your own discretion — you would rather be safe than a couple bucks richer for doing something right.