CLE woman's stolen iPhone ends up on eBay

Posted at 6:32 PM, Jan 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-07 09:03:38-05

The iPhone of one of our viewers goes missing. You're probably thinking, “Who hasn't lost their phones, right?”

But this story has several twists and turns that involve a big-time company.

Missy Rodia lost her phone in September. She was in downtown Cleveland, forgot her iPhone 6 on a bench and went back later, but it was gone.

"I kept trying and trying and trying to call it and never got any answer,” said Rodia. "It’s a sinking feeling … somebody has my phone."

Rodia got a new iPhone and went on with life until about 10 days ago.  That's when she got an email from Randall Murry in Lufkin, Tex. saying, "I think I have your iPhone."

"Obviously he's a nice person because we've been communicating back and forth,” said Rodia.

After seeing an ad on eBay in mid-December, Murry bought the phone for $270. However, when he got it, it was iCloud locked. It did have Rodia’s email on it so he contacted her. "He lost his money. He can't use the phone and he can't get a refund anywhere," explained Rodia.

Murry told me that he talked to eBay and he informed reps that the phone was lost and basically stolen, only to be told by eBay that the ad did say that the phone was locked so Murry was out of luck. “Ebay told me there wasn't anything that they could do," Murry told us.

We tracked down the supposed return address on the iPhone package that was sent to Murry. It's a house in Maple Heights. No one answered when we knocked on the front door, but who knows if that's the real address of the seller. Criminals have been known to use fake addresses. 

Murry told me he was shocked that eBay would allow lost or stolen items to be sold on its site. "I was just aggravated and disappointed that I couldn't get a refund,” said Murry.

Rodia said the company should take action immediately. "I think eBay should definitely refund the money to the buyer. And maybe, possibly take the seller off of their list."

Late today, we got a call from eBay saying it did not follow protocol in reviewing this case. It apologized for the error and Murry will be getting his refund. Meanwhile, the seller has been suspended from eBay's site.

eBay reps told us if you suspect an item has been stolen or is a lost item, they ask that you reach out to them immediately so they can investigate the potential problem.


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