- Posted October 19, 2013 by
toronto, ontario, canada, Ontario
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57 year old woman dentist confronts 3 thugs in an alley who stole her iphone and retrieves it
By Joe Warmington ,Toronto Sun
First posted: Wednesday, August 07, 2013 09:28 PM EDT | Updated: Thursday, August 08, 2013 03:33 AM EDT
Sheryl Lipton 080813 Dr. Sheryl Lipton holds her stolen cellphone that she tracked and demanded back from the thieves on Aug. 7, 2013. Lipton was angry that she received no help from the police to get the phone back. (Craig Robertson/Toronto Sun)
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What does one do when police won’t help get back a stolen cellphone from thugs?
Brave Scarborough dentist Sheryl Lipton found the thieves who stole her Apple iPhone and took it from them.
It’s a story with plenty of points of view that also brings new meaning to being afraid of the dentist.
Three punks got a drilling and filing at the same time. When it comes to detective skills, this woman has teeth.
But on a serious side, Lipton says she can’t understand why her call for help from the police was rebuked.
“It was dismissive,” she said of her conversation with a constable at Toronto Police’s 33 Division.
Toronto Police say they are not aware of the incident or calls and were looking into it.
The dentist said it all started on Sunday when the 57-year-old went down the Jewish Community Centre at Bloor St. and Spadina Ave. to go for a run.
“Like an idiot, I left my Apple iPhone in the car,” she said.
The window was smashed and it was gone.
She called police but said she got no satisfaction. Then she remembered about a special service for iPhones that help track them down if missing.
“I went online and located my cellphone at the Shops at Don Mills,” she said. “I called police and told them the situation but they said that there was nothing that they could do. I explained the urgency of the situation, the location of the phone and I could meet them at the mall in 10 minutes.”
Lipton said there was no enthusiasm.
“I called police four times ... they didn’t care.”
She knew she was all alone.
“I told them that I was going to confront the perpetrators myself and would like police backup,” she said. “I was told that they would not do anything and I had to follow their procedure.”
Letting the thieves get away with her phone was not an option for the dentist.
“I told them that I was going to pursue the phone and that if I turned up dead, they will know why,” she said. “It was not vigilante justice. It was just a woman getting her phone back.”
With her daughter, who was opposed to the plan, she headed out to retrieve her phone.
“As we approached the mall, the WiFi indicated the person or persons had left the mall and were now across the street,” she said. “The Find My iPhone app showed me exactly where the phone was, and there were three men in their 20s or 30s, some over six-feet tall, lurking in the lane way of an apartment building, shaking hands and one getting into a vehicle.”
She “sprinted across the street, still in my jogging clothes, to the three guys and told them that I wanted my phone back.”
It did not go over well.
“They started swearing at me, called me crazy and said that they didn’t have the phone. I told them ‘I want the phone or I’m calling 911.’”
Eventually one admitted he had it.
“He told me that he had bought the phone downtown in the morning for $80. I told him it was stolen property and I wanted it back,” she said.
Once he saw she knew the password “he knew that it was mine and finally gave it to me.”
Toronto Police Const.Victor Kwong was trying find out what happened.
He said he needs more specific information, but as of deadline, 33 Division was “not aware of this.”
“It is very well possible she waited seven hours for such a call," Kwong said. “Theft of property with no suspect on scene or suspect information is assigned a low priority which gets bumped by higher priority calls.”
Lipton feels catching potential criminals should be the priority.
Certainly, it must be pointed out that if the dentist had been caught talking on the cellphone while driving the car, a police officer would have found time for her. Had her car been parked illegally, she would have also experienced prompt service.
If police don’t have time for certain crimes, there should be a conversation about that.
“I am really upset with police. Sure it’s only a phone, but I was violated, upset and angry and wanted these guys caught,” she said. “It just isn’t big enough potatoes for the police? Had I arrived 10 seconds later, these guys would have dispersed.”
She realizes her decision was not for everybody.
“I took the risk and understood the possible consequences,” said Lipton. “But the police should have been there.”
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