Proof That Nice People Still Exist

The worst feeling in the world is when you know that you've lost one of your best gadgets. That sinking feeling as you realise what's on it, who might have access to it, and how much you might have to pay to get it back. Thankfully, we've just been shown here at Gizmodo first-hand how nice people can really be. This is the tale of how our own Elly Hart lost and found her precious iPod Touch thanks to one kind-hearted stranger.

For those of you who don't know, Elly is our fearless night editor who works out of the Great White North (Canada for those playing at home) in the wee hours to keep your site fresh and full of content for when you wake up -- or when you need to continue procrastinating at 3am.

It was 6pm in Canada when Elly left the Caffe Artigiano on Hornby Street in downtown Vancouver. Minutes after that her Facebook and Twitter feeds started behaving strangely. Someone was using it in the third person.

Back in Australia, we went into panic mode. What if this person stole all of her details? What if they were in our CMS? What if they took down her passwords and extorted the device back to them?

Thankfully, this wonderful stranger wasn't the arsehole that we'd been worried that he/she might have been. They kept updating Elly's Facebook with where she could recover her iPod from, and as quickly as the whole affair had started, the stranger slipped back into the void, not asking for any reward or thanks.

If you're reading this, anonymous stranger, I'd like to thank you for being a lovely human being.

So the next time you find a gadget in the back of a cab, on a coffee table or on the ground, make every effort to return that piece of tech to whoever's it is. You'll feel all warm and fuzzy inside, I promise.

What's your best Good Samaritan gadget story?


    I think most people are kind hearted and would do the same if they had someone else's device in their hands. But the problem is that nice people often see lost items sitting on the ground or on a park bench or similar and keep on walking. Known in psychology as the Bystander Effect. In the end, it's the nefarious people who end up picking up the device.

    I have to admit, I've ignored a lost item or two - the thought that runs through my mind is "what if someone (perhaps the actual owner) sees me pick it and thinks I'm stealing it?". I've decided next time I'm just going to go and do the right thing

      i tend to do the same a bit worried i may get accused theft and the things i have picked up i have never been able to locate the owner..... TV has had me worried about this stuff with the constant stories about heartless people not picking things up or whatever.

    Yeah, I would have to return it simply for the fact that it'd kill me to be in that position.

    I actually checked my phone was still in my pocket when I read the headline of the story lol

    We were traveling in Italy, and we left our backpack with passports money everything in a internet cafe along the coast, and we had already traveled around an hour before we realized, so we went to a local cafe and asked then how can we retrieve it as we came down by bus, they said that the receptionists friend was coming down from up there and they would be more than happy to bring it down. Once we got it back, nothing was stolen, nothing had been gone through, nothing. It was amazing, we were totally shocked as all our friends say that they always steal and stuff...

    I have picked up phones\devices and had people scream at me and threaten me that it is there device.
    Guess what! they are never the people that come to collect it.. ever.

    I always take it home and contact them through a family member (mum\dad\sister in phone book) if device is unlocked or has information.
    I feel sorry for the people that have password etc as I always have to hand these in to owner\lost and found etc and you can tell that someone that has seen me is going to scam them out of it as soon as i leave.

      If there is a password protection on the device, it is smart to have your owner contact details on the unlock screen.

        Yep but I still have never found a device that does.. For that matter mine don't but I don't care about my SGS..

    One time i was out in town at a nightclub known as blackbettys (perth)
    I had my Phone in my back pocket which also happened to be my Wallet (phone case wallet)
    I was on the dance floor just dancing around when i noticed that my phone was missing, I instantly broke out in a panic looking around on the ground for my phone/wallet expecting the worse. My girlfriend went around to all the bars asking if someone had handed in a phone while i kept looking around at the ground, it was the worst feeling. I was just about to give up when i noticed my phone/wallet was neatly sitting up on the stage. Someone had picked it up and placed on there probably hoping for the owner (me) to find it there.

    Wish really wish i could thank that person, the phone carries all my personal information and also many important work information.

    Funny thing is it the phone wallet had a big shoe print on it and the phone and cards were all intact!

    hows that for galaxy note strength :P

    So the moral of the story is if you find a lost iPhone in a pub, you should return it to the owner? My my how Gizmodo has changed :p

    Recently my daughter left her iPad on the roof of our car (don't ask why!) and I drove off to the local shops. The iPad finally slipped off the roof after 3 right-hand turns. Panic and consternation ensued on my return. But within an hour she received an email from a woman who had been out walking her dog and found the almost un-marked iPad in the gutter on a busy local road. She had been able to access her email record...the unit was then quickly retrieved by one sheepish but grateful daughter. Her finder heroine would accept nothing but her prolific thanks. Nice people are out there!!!!

    My theory is that the people who'd steal it or do malicious stuff are the exceptions. That kind of misanthropy is the result of lack of intelligence, social awareness and the ability to relate to other people and their community in any real way.

    Most people would probably return something. However the same cannot be said for almost all taxi drivers in Sydney. I have been informed they pick up around 40 devices (I think per month).
    Consider it gone when lost in a taxi cause they don't give a %^&*

      This reminds me of the time I left my sleeping bag in a coach many years ago in Russia. I was devastated when I was told there was next to no chance of me getting it back. They rang the coach company... but it was just gone.

      Agreed. Left my 3 week old iPhone 5 in a Sydney taxi by accident, and after numerous 'play sound' presses using find my iPhone followed by calls to the device all were blatantly ignored. Some people have no compassion whatsoever.

        Had the same issue with the iPhone 4. My father left it in the cab and came home and told me at about 11PM. Started tracking it using findmyiphone and sending it numerous messages, all of which were ignored.
        We then saddled up with a laptop and mobile internet and started chasing the taxi through the streets. We ended up on a rather empty highway with 2 Taxi's ahead and an indication the phone was in either one of them. One ended up turning and one continued straight and we ended up following the wrong one so we gave up.
        I woke up at 4AM knowing that taxi's knock off around 2 and made a note of the phone's location (assuming it would be at the taxi driver's house by then).
        Father went out later that morning and snooped around while I pinged it. Ended up him almost kicking the taxi driver's door down because he could hear his phone inside. Dirty scum cabbie was speechless. People like that deserve to stay in the country they were seeking "refuge" from...

    There are good people out there. There are also some rotters. And sometimes they get caught!

    Several years ago someone found a phone outside the store I worked at and handed it into me. I looked through the contacts and found a entry called "Mum". I gave Mum a call and told her what had happened and where her son or daughter could collect the phone. About an hour later somebody (regular customer) came to collect the phone. All's well that ends well. Or so I thought.

    20 minutes after that I get a call from Mum, saying the phone was probably one that was stolen from her son's house in a burglary several weeks earlier. I suggest she call the police.
    Couple of days after that, police come and review our CCTV of the guy who collected the phone. They know him as he has history for burglary.

    A co-workers brother worked in the same police station. Dude went straight back to jail. All's well that ends well!

    Working at the movies I find a lot of phones, keys and wallets. I always get that fuzzy feeling when I hand back that persons precious item.

    This Cloud Atlas marketing strategy is seriously sophisticated!

    We found an iPhone in the back of a rented car a few weeks ago and spent half the day driving around town trying to meet the owner so we could return it. What goes around comes around. *goosebumps*

    You've got it all wrong - Cloud Atlas is an elaborate marketing stunt for cafe Artigianos!

    I was on holiday in the States 2 weeks ago and left our lappy bag with a 15" Macbook Pro (containing all my wife uni work), PS Vita, Camera, 2 pairs of noise cancelling headphones and house keys on the overhead of a coach. I went in to full panic mode and it nearly ruined the holiday. Two days later I got it back, someone handed it in. There are some good people out there, more than bad I reckon. Whenever I find something I want it to get back to its owner

    Not all that anonymous a stranger, given that they clearly work at the cafe concerned. Try leaving it behind on a train or bus next time and see how well you get on :)

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now