A New York musician who had his iPhone stolen on New Year's Eve created a fake dating profile and arranged a romantic rendezvous with the thief.
Trombonist Nadav Nirenberg, 27, accidentally left his phone in the back of a taxi while on his way to a gig in Brooklyn. But despite repeatedly calling the phone and leaving messages offering a reward, he heard nothing.
He then discovered the person who had his phone had logged in to his OKCupid dating account and was sending "weird" messages from his profile to girls on the site.
"Not only had he stolen my phone, he was creepy and disturbing," said Mr Nirenberg. "So I created another OKCupid account as 'Jennifer Gonzalez' a ficticious 24-year-old girl who just moved to Brooklyn. Then I chatted him up".
'U wanna meet?' the thief said in a message posted on the site.
'Yeah I kinda do,' Mr Nirenberg wrote back, suggesting that they meet at 'Jennifer's' place that night.
A few hours later the thief was on his way while Mr Nirenberg armed himself with a hammer and waited.
"Little did he know that on his way up the stairs I would pop out behind him, calmly give him \$20 for my phone and tell him the cops were on the way," he said.
"I saw through the peephole that he was a small Indian dude. When he realised what had happened the look of shame on his face was priceless. He must have felt like an idiot. He was all dressed up, he was carrying a bottle of wine and he stank of cologne.
"I had the hammer in case he was insane or huge. I was scared but I never threatened him in any way.
"The \$20 was because I wanted to lead with a peace offering instead of a confrontation. I could easily have kept the \$20, his wine and probably his wallet, but I wanted it to be over as quickly as possible".
Mr Nirenberg has little sympathy for the thief, whom he believes was the taxi driver in whose cab he left his phone.
"The dude thought that a 24-year-old girl who lives alone would invite a complete stranger over for wine. He also believed 'Jennifer' wouldn't care about the message she received from him: 'Hay the pic u see on my profile it not my pic it my friend pic'.
'Jennifer' got messages from 30 men on OKCupid in the five hours she existed. "My apologies to the girl whose picture I used," said Mr Nirenberg.