Local News

Brooklyn man uses dating website to entrap thief who stole his iPhone

PARK SLOPE, BROOKLYN (PIX11) – Nadav Nirenberg is a musician by day and night and is dependent on his iPhone for jobs.

But in a rush to get to a midtown gig on New Year’s Eve, he accidentally left it in a livery cab.

“I sent a bunch of emails texts and voicemails sutff like that offering a reward.  Where can i pick it up? They were deleted.”

The next morning he saw email alerts from a dating service he had joined and discovered whoever took his phone was on the site trying to meet women through his profile.

Nadav Nirenberg

“I realized this dude had been sending messages to girls at 6 a.m., and strangely enough, getting responses,” Nadav Nirenberg said.

“I realized this dude had been sending messages to girls at 6 a.m., and strangely enough, getting responses.”

Deciding it was time to take action, he thought why not try and seduce the smartphone snatcher who was looking for action. And the plan to get back his phone meant setting up a fake profile of a woman.

He used a random photo from Google Images, and called his 24-year-old creation Jennifer Gonzalez.

“Cute girl smiling at a webcam, showing a little cleavage … and I messaged him my own account basically and got a response within five minutes.”

They chatted for about an hour.

“I was basically flirting as a girl. Very strange,” he said. “It was odd.  I was on edge the entire time  the whole thing was surreal. At times he was like, ‘Can I kiss you tonight or something like that,” and I would respond, ‘we’ll see,’ with a winkie face or something like that.”

The two agreed to meet at Nirenberg’s — aka Jennifer’s —  place in Brooklyn at 7pm.  Nirenberg directed him to a couple of floors above his own.

Through his peephole, Nirenberg saw his date walk past his door.  Moments later nadav was right behind him with hammer in hand just in case.

He had a bottle of wine with him cause he was ready for a date.

Convinced the Casanova was his cabbie, Nirenberg handed him 20 bucks.

“Really all I did was put the 20 dollars in his hand and put him on his way,” he said.

The 27-year-old trombonist doesn’t recommend  that anyone try to pull off what he did.

Former detective sergeant and PIX contributor Wally Zeins agrees, saying he could have been opening up his door to a dangerous criminal.

“The best scenario would have been for him to have made contact with this person, call the police, let the police know and they would put a sting operation together,” Zeins said.

Nirenberg has mixed feeling about his sting operation.

“On one hand I kind of feel bad for him because he was just looking for a date and it ended up being me and that sucks for anyone. At the same time he was keeping my phone.”

And 10 minutes after he got it back, an offer to play a gig popped up.

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