Was it worth stealing the lady's smartphone on the RER D?

In a video that has gone viral, RER D users manage to find a smartphone stolen by a person on the train. What device was it?

Having your smartphone stolen on public transport is a nightmare for many.

Two videos posted on March 19 on social networks they show the adventure of a RER D user, whose smartphone disappeared on the train. Instead of panicking and saying nothing, the lady asked her neighbors to help her, saying the thief was probably among them. Everyone agreed to play the game until they found the stolen smartphone.

Social networks as it is, many were ironic, saying that the victim did not have an iPhone, but an “entry phone”. Beyond conceding these claims, Numerama wondered about the phone in question: what model was it? How did he find him? And, what's the point of a thief stealing a smartphone in 2024, with all the anti-theft protections?

Murder on the Orient Express, 2.0

The women's watch, probably a Samsung model, can beat an Android smartphone.
The women's watch, probably a Samsung model, can beat an Android smartphone. // Source: Numerama screenshot

In this investigation 2.0, the first important thing to note is this: it was the lady's connected watch that allowed her to find her smartphone.

If it is technically possible to activate your mobile ringtone from another device (with Google Find My Device or Find my iPhone), the connected watch is the most efficient and convenient, as it is not necessary to log into an account with a username and password.

Permanently connected to the smartphone's Bluetooth, it can trigger a ringtone to make noise, even if it's on silent mode. The lady didn't know, it was the RER users who told her it was possible.

“That's the master over there!” » complains a lady who hears the ringing. The alleged thief then pleads innocent… and the smartphone miraculously falls to the ground. Next, we can see that it's a Google smartphone, possibly a Pixel 6, a model released between 2021 and 2022. So it's not an entry-level device as many are claiming. , but one of the flagships of the Android ecosystem.

Screenshots of the stolen smartphone.  We recognize the Pixel interface and rectangular camera module from the Pixel 7 family.Screenshots of the stolen smartphone.  We recognize the Pixel interface and rectangular camera module from the Pixel 7 family.
Screenshots of the stolen smartphone. We recognize the Pixel interface and rectangular camera module from the Pixel family. // Source: Numerama Captures

What about the exact model? The screen doesn't appear to be curved, so it's a Pixel 6 or Pixel 6a. Given the size of the device, Numerama believes it's likely to be a Pixel 6, a high-end model launched in October 2021 at a price of €649.

Google Pixel 6 // Source: Louise Audry for NumeramaGoogle Pixel 6 // Source: Louise Audry for Numerama
Do you recognize the camera line? // Source: Louise Audry for Numerama

Resale value around 200 euros

In a way, this video is fascinating. The lady's distress is initially shared by everyone, then everyone seems to smile when the smartphone is found. Only the alleged thief, being attacked by everyone, makes a face. It's hard not to appreciate that happy ending.

On LeBonCoin, you can find Pixel 6 copies from 150 to 250 euros. That's relatively small compared to an iPhone 15, but still significant. But is it really possible to resell it at this price?

Pixel 6 resale prices on LeBonCoin.Pixel 6 resale prices on LeBonCoin.
Pixel 6 resale prices on LeBonCoin. // Source: Capture Numerama

Indeed, like most modern smartphones, a stolen Google Pixel 6 can be blocked remotely. In other words, the thief is doing his best for a potentially unsellable device that will have to be disassembled for parts (and here, it's hard to make a big profit out of it). This situation clearly shows the absurdity of smartphone theft in 2024, which is based on the low occurrence rate of an unprotected smartphone, without any certainty that they will be able to get anything out of it.

Long story short, it wasn't worth stealing the lady's smartphone on the RER, who had the right reflex to ask for help and use her connected watch. Hopefully this will serve as an example in the future (and people will stop hating on smartwatches).


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