The Internet is abuzz today with the story of Matt Stopera, a Buzzfeed reporter whose iPhone was stolen in 2014 but was recently tracked back to Meizhou, a town in Southern China.
Stopera’s phone was snatched up while resting on top of the bar at East Village Social (126 St. Mark’s Pl.)
If there’s anything to be learned from this epic photo-essay, it’s not to rest your iPhone on top of a bar in NYC.
We should also probably add that Stopera is reportedly roommates with Ilana Glazer (‘Broad City’), so we can imagine some of the shenangians the Alphabet City duo get into.
Like so many of us who have lost a valuable Apple product, Stopera accepted that his iPhone was gone forever when his calls wouldn’t go through (and we’re assuming Find my iPhone wasn’t working either).
This past January, Stopera noticed strange photos in his photostream. Unrecognized images of a man with an orange tree and fireworks displays were confusing, and Stopera took to social media to see what was up. Sidenote: all of Stopera’s photos could be seen in photostream as well, so, be careful with the Cloud, kids.
Chinese social media soon exploded with Stopera’s story and he became an Internet celebrity, leading him and a team from Buzzfeed to meet up with a man nicknamed Brother Orange, who recieved the stolen phone as a gift, purchased from China’s secondhand phone market.
In a new Buzzfeed piece, “I Followed My Stolen iPhone Across The World, Became A Celebrity In China, And Found A Friend For Life” which is currently at over 1.4 million views and translated into a handful of languages, Stopera details his unique, intriguing and only somewhat irritating story.
And no, it’s not an April Fools’ Day joke.