Fan of KBPI's Willie B Helps Him Find iPhone 1,900 Miles Away

Social media comes in for plenty of criticism — but this means of communication can facilitate heroic deeds.

Like the recovery of Willie B's iPhone.

A longtime radio personality for KBPI, Willie lost his phone while in Tampa, Florida.

But thanks to Facebook and a Good Samaritan of a fan, he and the device are now reunited.

On the afternoon of Friday, April 29, Willie posted the following note on his Facebook page:
Dammnnnn lost my phone today for good, over 4,500 great pics, couple thousand little notes of wisdom I've made up or found over past several years and over 120 videos of home make overs and car cruises and such.. super bummed !! So if you had my number its gonna be while before I can get back to you, but I'll try to get new phone ASAP k
He broached the topic again on the morning of May 2, sharing this screen capture of an image produced by the Find My iPhone feature....

...and this note:
So there's my phone, just laying there with everything I need on it, just off I-4 and 50th in tampa... can't even get a new one with my number till next week, BRUTAL LOSS ...
Shortly thereafter, Facebook friend Kristina Simmerman offered this reply: "For all that you do for others I'm sure karma has your back. Even from here in Morrison I'm reaching out to my Tampa friends trying to help. Hope we can get you your phone back!"

She was as good as her word, as Willie noted less than three hours later. "You're such a blessing Kristina.. your boy just found it," he wrote. "Holy hell man. Unreal."

Before long, another Find My iPhone screen cap popped up on Willie's timeline....

...along with this explanation of what had gone down:
So unreal what happened this morning, Ken who listens on IHeart, has lived in tampa for just over decade, is like 20 min from where the pic of where the "find my phone" app says it is, hits me up on fb says he's headed over there to look, I'm on phone with him as he's walking around side of road looking for it and sees homeless man watching, asks if he's seen a phone round there, homeless man says yeah found one 3 days ago but it's locked ... gives it to him. I got my phone back from 1,900 miles away.. so blown away.. Thanks SO much Ken, that homeless man, IHeart, kristina, and Karma for this Blessing for sure.. CRAZY.
Take that, Facebook haters.

Here's a larger look at Willie's reunion photo.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts