Top 10 Places Where Cell Phones Are Lost

BY Beth Williams

Lookout Mobile Security recently released findings from a study regarding lost or stolen cell phones, and an astounding amount of money is lost every year when people misplace their mobile devices or are the victims of theft.

According to the Lockout study, approximately $30 billion will be lost this year when mobile users lose their cellphones. With the advanced technology included in most smart phones these days, it should not be a shock to learn that each person may lose $250 a year replacing these tools.

Lockout also revealed the 10 cities where cell phone loss is most likely to occur. Philadelphia topped that list with Seattle coming in second. Perhaps unsurprisingly, four cities that placed in the top 10 for highest crime rates — Cleveland, Detroit, Newark and Oakland — also placed on the list for cities home to the most cell phone losses.

So where exactly do these cell phone losses occur? Lockout provided the details, naming the 10 places you are most likely to lose your cell phone.

10. Park

You put your cell phone down to enjoy some recreation or to check on your kids at the playground. Next thing you know someone has lifted your prized device or you simply cannot remember which bench you left it under.

9. Pharmacy or Drug Store

Chances are your mind is a little scattered if you are at the pharmacy. You place your phone down to locate your medical account info, grab your drugs and forget your phone.

8. Residential

Your home could be filled with clutter, from dirty laundry to your children’s toys. If your phone is on silent or turned off, you may not be able to track it down.

7. Gas Station

Pumping with one hand, gas cap in the other, possibly a snack or refreshment on your mind. It’s easy to see why your cell phone may get lost in the shuffle.

6. Grocery Store

You put your purse on the baby seat of your shopping cart and turn your back to pick up some produce, leaving all your valuables, including your phone, vulnerable to theft.

5. Apartment or Condo

Small space, sketchy neighbors, untrustworthy management…it can all be a recipe for disaster.

4. Restaurants

You put your phone on the table, walk out to pay your bill and forget the cell. Think it’ll be there when you come back? Probably not.

3. Office

A desk filled with papers, office equipment and an eight-hour workload — you’re forgiven if you get a little scatterbrained, but you may pay with a lost cell phone.

2. Bar

Similar to the restaurant scenario, only factor in alcohol. You leave it here one night and you probably won’t remember by the morning.

1. Coffee Shops

And the No. 1 place people lose their phones comes as no surprise. Coffee shops are a haven for people on the go. Remembering your computer, your newspaper, your double mocha and your phone may not be feasible. Additionally, with the heavy foot traffic of such locales, theft is a massive threat. Leaving your phone even for a second to pick up your drink or use the restroom could result in saying so long to your mobile device, as a stranger with a wandering eye could easily swoop and scoop.

Cities where cell phone are lost more than others

People in some U.S. cities have a higher chance of losing their phone: Philadelphia residents lose their phone two times more than New York City dwellers, while San Franciscans and New Yorkers lose their phones three times more than Chicagoans.

Lookout Labs determined the top ten cities in the U.S. for phone loss during 2011, inconveniencing residents’ daily lives and resulting in financial losses:

  1. Philadelphia
  2. Seattle
  3. Oakland
  4. Long Beach
  5. Newark
  6. Detroit
  7. Cleveland
  8. Baltimore
  9. New York
  10. Boston

Interestingly, many of the cities with highest rates of lost and stolen phones also were in the top ranks for the FBI’s most recent crime statistics. Cleveland, Detroit, Oakland and Newark, were amongst the 10 cities with the highest crime rates in the U.S.

As part of the study, Lookout unveils in the most common venues a person is most likely to lose their phone, shedding insights into the character of each city. For example,

  • In Chicago, the 3rd most common venue to lose your phone is a church.
  • In New York City, the top place to lose your phone is a fast food restaurant.
  • In San Francisco, the leading venue to lose your phone is a coffee shop.
  • In London, the leading venue to lose your phone is a pub.

Lockout, the company behind the study, is headquartered in San Francisco and provides service to about 15 million users.