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Man finds mysterious iPhone 4s inside his car’s airbag compartment and begins search for owner

by Danny Zepeda | April 24, 2017

Phones get lost every day. Some times they get stolen, other times they fall into water and from time to time they just vanish. But in this particular occasion, they mysteriously enter an airbag compartment. That’s what Alex Tom discovered when he took in his Subaru Forester for repair and the mechanics found an iPhone inside the passenger’s airbag compartment.

Alex Tom’s 2009 Subaru Forester was part of the Takata airbag recall forcing him to take it into the dealer to get the passenger’s airbag replaced. When he returned to his car, a white iPhone 4s was sitting on the dashboard, but it wasn’t his phone. The phone had a weird wallpaper with a girl playing a guitar. He called the dealer to ask of somebody forgot their phone and they told him they found it inside the airbag compartment. The phone was in Airplane Mode and locked so there was no method of getting inside of it to see who it belonged to. Alex began asking friends to see if anybody had forgotten their phone, but none had. So who did it belong to?

Alex took to Facebook to begin the search, but soon after, the internet took over. People started taking interest in the phone and began responding. Slowly they started pointing Alex in the right direction of what to look for. He noticed that the phone’s date was Saturday January 3, so he did a little digging and discovered that the last time January 3 fell on a Saturday was in 2015.

Eventually Alex was nudged to plug it into a computer and discovered it belong to someone named “Sully” and that he was on the dating service Coffee Meets Bagels and a certain Bonnie had replied to him.

The infamous Sully was finally located

As the search gained more traction, a savvy person decided to post pictures of the phone on Craigslist to see if Sully might be found, and lo and behold, he responded. Sullivan contacted Alex through Facebook and revealed the mystery.

Sully revealed he lost his iPhone 4s in the summer of 2014. He used to go rafting and leave his phone in the glove compartment and put it in Airplane Mode to conserve battery life. How did the phone get from the glove hand compartment to the airbag compartment, neither Sully nor Alex had an answer for this.

This is why the internet is awesome.


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Danny Zepeda

Born and raised in Southern California, Danny grew up on a steady diet Pixar, Star Wars and Steven Spielberg movies. Unbeknownst to him, this was...Born and raised in Southern California, Danny grew up on a steady diet Pixar, Star Wars and Steven Spielberg movies. Unbeknownst to him, this was...


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