Phone Thief Unwittingly Gives Previous Owner a Photo Tour of His Life


This is Hafid. About 4 months ago, Hafid stole a phone from a German tourist who was vacationing on the island of Ibiza, Spain. Hafid didn’t, however, delete the original owner’s Dropbox app or disable the automatic upload feature.

So ever since the phone was stolen, she has received periodic updates about Hafid’s life in Dubai, which she has kindly uploaded to a Tumblr blog, complete with humorous commentary.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a thief caught on camera. You might remember the camera that was shooting a time-lapse and captured its own theft in progress. This is, however, the first time we’ve heard of a previous owner using the photos to provide the Internet with a continuous source of entertainment.

Here’s the description from the top of the Life of a Stranger Who Stole My Phone blog, which now enjoys a readership in the tens of thousands:

This is the inspiring story of Hafid from Dubai, the douchebag who stole my phone. He forgot to switch off the camera upload function, that’s why we will enjoy a deep insight into his life. Start on the first page.

The owner started the blog last month, and so far has uploaded everything from photos, to GIFs, to videos of Hafid going about his daily life. Here are just a few of the photos Hafid has taken thus far:






It doesn’t look like the owner will be getting her phone back anytime soon (if ever), but in lieu of legal action, this is the best approach she could come up with. Besides, given enough press, Hafid might eventually see his own face pop up on a website he frequents. We just hope he’s taking a selfie when it happens … something tells us his would be a pretty priceless reaction.

Life of a Stranger Who Stole My Phone (via DPReview)

  • Anto de Chav

    The exciting life of a petty thief…

  • guest

    Look like every thief in Europe from the same area … north africa.

  • Matt Collins

    thumbs up Hafid-iot

  • Randell

    What looks dumb is dumb! What a thieving little dirt bag though.

  • Tone Matrix

    I guess the find my iPhone app was disabled?

  • Igor Ken

    this is so artistic

  • random

    phone could have been sold to him :p

  • Adam Sacasa

    That’s awesome, haha. And just a note to the author, exif data from the photos on her blog say it’s an HTC Desire S, not an iPhone.

  • Tom Markham

    dou**bag is a bad word?

  • NOT Hafid

    Can it be possible the thief sold the phone to this Hafid guy?

  • David Ramirez

    Video resume for Crooks Inc.

  • Yoni Mayeri

    she may be posting from her new phone an HTC Desire S

  • Goon

    Doesn’t Dubai have Sharia law? Thieves would have their hands cut off…

  • BILL


  • BILL


  • Ziz

    Before showing utter ignorance, googling is a good idea.

  • Tom Waugh

    Not here in Switzerland!

  • Evan Skuthorpe

    No but they gaol unmarried tourists for kissing on the beach. #backwards

  • Paul

    Dubai is still a Muslim country so there are rules to follow. A bit backwards for most but hey it’s their country and their rules.

  • Paul

    No, they do not cut hands. They just put thieves in Jail and Deport them so they won’t come back to Dubai.

  • Graf Almassy

    No offense, but many tourists from the states doesn’t respect the other’s culture, rules and traditions.

    LOL… 200 years ago the christians do the same thing or worst…

  • harumph

    First of all, the tumblr refers to two different people as Hafid. Secondly, there’s no evidence that either of them is the person who actually stole the phone. The tumblr notes that the pictures started showing up 4 months after the phone was taken. Given that time frame, isn’t it more likely that the thief sold the stolen phone to one of the people in the pictures?

  • Michael Zhang

    Ah, it’s Swiss? Uncensored! :)

  • harumph

    Yeah, it’s somewhat disturbing to see people immediately jumping to the unfounded conclusion that the person in the pics is the person who stole the phone. And since there are actually two different people in the photos who are both being identified as Hafid in different posts, then at the very least there is one person who is definitely being libeled by the tumblr blog (and this article).

  • Abdul Cader

    this is very racy.. mocking & made fun comments on someone’s culture & not just that individual but all of his friends. it looks more like this guy got this phone from a second hand dealer. it doesn’t sounds like this poor guy afford to fly across spain to steal a smart phone (?!) most of his photos were shot inside his native, mostly inside his poor apartment with poor friends. i think this guy not even knows how to setup a smart phone.
    if a drunken & naked b* lost her phone, it’s her problem.. c’mon it’s just a phone & she’s making fuss out of it and purposely mocking middle east culture!!!
    -get us an exif data report out of original photograph first.
    -and give us a proper proof that this guy has flown to spain.
    -this guy said ‘Salam’ (peace) in facebook, i don’t think this guy even try to hit on her.

    now i felt, even Petapixel also wants to join with this racy post.

  • H L Thomas

    He either stole it, knew it was hot or should have known it was hot…and any honest buyer would effort to make sure. Anyone else in the shots can try to sue the rightful owner for libel but they SHOULD be more angry with their idiot friend with the hot phone. If they did try to sue…at least somebody tried to contact the rightful owner.

  • costin

    not all phones are iphones. she said the phone has android…

  • harumph

    You ever bought something from a second-hand shop? A garage sale? Outdoor market? Ebay? Goodwill? Pawn shop? Amazon used? “Refurbished” merchandise from an electronics store? Have you ever bought anything used anywhere?

    The idea that anyone can possibly know what items are “hot” or not isn’t at all realistic.

  • H L Thomas

    Bottom line…the phone is stolen. A person can make excuses all day long so they can feel good about that ‘great deal’ that’s a little too good to be true. Determining ownership of cell phones isn’t that complicated…especially this one that still had some of the owner’s account connections intact. Here’s the important part: The potential buyer has to have enough integrity to give a damn about somebody else’s property to ask questions about the ‘great deal’ they’re getting and if the seller, whoever it is, can’t show valid possession…say ‘No Sale!’

  • Evan Skuthorpe

    I think you mean ‘racist’ and not ‘racy’. Two very different meanings.

  • Abdul Cader

    you are right evan, thx. i’m not a native english speaker..

  • Evan Skuthorpe

    No problem ;)

  • Ramzi Choukisme

    i think Dani diamond doesn’t like arabs !!