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Oct 25, 2010
Hey guys, I used to drive a taxi and I have like 5 or 6 phones that customers left over the months. I just found them, and they are pretty new, one of them is a blackberry, another is a droid. I went to each store and tried to activate them but all of them were reported as "lost/stolen" by the owners, so I cant use any of them. The owners never contacted me since this was a while ago, so basically I'm stuck with brand spanking new deluxe phones that cant be activated. What can I do with them? Should I just throw them out, because I tried selling the new droid htc incredible one for 500 on craigslist and it was reported as "lost" and could not be activated, so I gave the guy I sold it to a refund and he gave it back. What can I do with these phones that cannot be activated? All are verizon or metro pcs so they dont have sim cards.
Sell them on ebay/craigslist under the heading PARTS ONLY with the exact story you just told. Make sure to include that the ESN numbers are no good. You can usually get $100 or so for them for parts!
Take them to the carrier they belong to and turn them in. Most of the owners were most likely given replacements through insurance (maybe not the MetroPCS ones) so the phones now belong to the carriers.
people on cricket can flash the droid over to their network and I dont think that requires a clean ESN. but parts on ebay or craigslist is usually the safer method.

So if I unlocked them, they wouldn't be labeled as "lost/stolen" and I could use them or sell them?
they would still be lost or stolen on verizon. since the esn is locked to our network as such. but since cricket doesnt currently have the esn listed as anything it could go on their network (i believe thats how it works)
I am pretty sure you can donate them too. Some foundations work with cell providers who give phones to people who cant afford them for 911 purposes only.
You're topic title tells it all, you call them "stolen" phones, and as such they should be returned. Even if they were just lost, turning them into the carrier is the right thing to do. It's called Integrity.
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At this point there's nothing that can be done to resurrect those phones..

You're better off just turning them into the carriers.
If you lost your phone somewhere, wouldn't you hope the person that found the phone do the right thing and return it to the carrier so it can be returned to you??
I'd turn them in. Just because they were reported as lost/stolen doesn't mean the user had insurance and/or got a replacement device. Maybe the carrier can return them to their owners and/or to the insurance company if they were given a replacement?
I think this topic has run its course, as the overwhelming opinion appears for you to do the right thing and repatriate them to their parent carriers.
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