Someone found my Kindle on the airplane this weekend. I’d really like it back.

I left my Kindle on an airplane this weekend (post-convention exhaustion will do that to you), and someone found it.

I know that someone found it, because they've been using my account to buy games and books. Based on the purchases, I'm fairly sure the person who found my Kindle (which is named Wheatley) is young, possibly a teenager or a college student. He or she likes Scrabble, Battleship, Spelling Star, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and something called Telesa. He or she also hopes to learn Samoan, French, and Spanish. He or she has spent a fair amount of my money on these things.

I used Amazon's Personal Document thing to send a note to my Kindle, thanking the person for finding it, and telling them that I can be contacted at [email protected] to arrange its return.

I'm hopeful that this person will do the right thing and get in touch.


I called Amazon, reported it stolen, and they deactivated it after refunding me the fradulent purchases.

This isn't the end of the world; I can afford a new Kindle (thank Steve the Fruitbat), and in the grand scheme of things, it isn't the biggest of deals… but I sincerely hoped that whoever has my Kindle now would have read the note I sent to it, which is titled TO THE PERSON WHO FOUND MY KINDLE, and gotten in touch to return it to me. I want to believe in the basic goodness of people.

I really hope that it wasn't just taken by some kid who decided to keep something because, you know, Finders Keepers. I really hope that it was taken by some dirtbag who turned around and sold it to a kid who is too young to know that "this Kindle comes with whatever you want and you never have to pay for it, just give me fifty bucks for meth!" or whatever is a pretty clear flag that something isn't totally honest with this thing.

Anyway, it looks like I'm not getting it back, and all someone has for their trouble is a useless piece of plastic and wires.

97 thoughts on “Someone found my Kindle on the airplane this weekend. I’d really like it back.”

  1. Sad and douchey to be buying apps with someone else’s account. Too bad there wasn’t a “Zap the person holding this device with a 100,000 volt charge” feature in the Kindle.

  2. How horrible! I am so sorry! On a side note thank you for coming! I know these conventions are very tiring and it means a lot that you dedicate not only your time but your energy to coming to these conventions! Thank you again!

  3. Surely Amazon allows a way of dissconnecting the kindle from the account? I’d rather lose the kindle and not have my money drained out of my account, than try to recover the kindle while they buy crap i don’t want, on my dime.

  4. Good luck! I accidentally left mine after the Locke & Key panel at SDCC, but the lovely young man who found it called the number I’d written in its cover and got it back to me. Gave me renewed faith in humans. Hope yours will do the same now that you’ve contacted them.

  5. Since they’re already freely spending a stranger’s money, I get the feeling they’ll be deaf to appeal. But for your sake, I hope they have a change of heart!

  6. Ahhhhh…technology. You beautiful beautiful thing. I want to marry the technology. Always and Forever (Always and Forever).
    I’ll marry technology next unless a man can prove that he can find my lost devices on his own wits. Technology has showed me it’s gazongas and I like them.

  7. Wil, you can have Amazon brick your Kindle, I had it done when mine went missing last fall. I ended up getting it back, I foolishly left my handbag in a shopping cart in a parking lot. Give’em a call.

  8. I know this probably sounds awful, but if I had found your Kindle, I would NEVER give it back to you. . . .or better yet, I’d ransom it for a meeting with you. :3 I know, I know. . . I’m a total creeper.

  9. You can disconnect it from, click your name in the top right, click Manage your Kindle, then in the column on the left, select Manage your Devices, pick the thing, & deregister. Just keep track of the serial number, because you won’t be able to see what they do with it any more. Then contact Amazon & let ’em know it’s been stolen. They should be able to track if someone tries to re-register it.
    With any luck, Bezos built in a way to remotely detonate the battery.
    Shame you can’t remotely update the screen saver to loop grotesque obscenities.

  10. You’ve been a dick magnet for the last few days, it seems.
    This is why I am loathe to use public transportation. I hope Amazon reverses the charges this unknown dick has been racking up. If they don’t, then they too are huge dicks.
    (Just woke up. BTW.)

  11. It saddens me to such a great degree that there are folks out there who have such disregard for their fellow men & women. I hope this kid returns the Kindle to you, but I have a feeling you will end up bricking it.
    On that note, I’m going to write my phone number inside my Nook’s cover.

  12. On Amazon, under the menu for ‘Your Account’ is ‘Manage my Kindle’ you can shut them off there. Amazon will also refund and remove the purchases made after you lost it. Maybe they even have a way of tracking them down too, That’d be cool.

  13. You may know this already, but you can de-authorize a Kindle under your account -> manage your Kindle (or something similar, I don’t recall exactly). You can still re-authorize it again if you end up getting it back, too (I had to do this when I “lost” my kindle, as in it fell under my car seat and I couldn’t find it for 6 months).

  14. That stinks. I am sure you heard about the one man who lost his iPhone in a similar instance and did all sorts of crazy stuff to the person who recovered it and kept it.
    I recommend calling amazon and letting them know that your kindle was stolen and you need the IP address that was most recently associated with it. With that info you could track down the person’s home yourself and contact them, or go to the police with the info.
    Best of luck.

  15. They have already intentionally used it to steal from you by buying books with your account, not sure an appeal to their conscience is going to work. They basically saw finding your kindle as an opportunity to gain by screwing over someone who was to them, faceless.
    It is a real shame there is no way to kill a kindle by remote.

  16. wil,
    i just tweeted this same info to you. i work with amazon/kindle customer service (am off today, but this calls for extra help!). if you call in to our cs team, we can lock your kindle down so no one can use it. please call 1-866-321-8851 and tell the rep your kindle was lost on the plane and someone unauthorized is using it.
    we may even be able to refund the unauthorized purchases!
    i hope this helps!

  17. I’d totally knee-cap someone for Wil Wheaton, just sayin’… Can you at least close the payment method and get a refund on those items in the meantime? Most credit card companies are pretty good about fraud, not so sure about other payment methods through the Kindle.

  18. Sadly as they’ve already made the decision to be a dick (or dickette), by stealing from you, I doubt they’ll listen.
    It’s a crappy thing to do, though. Look, people, this is how it works – when you find someone’s stuff, you return it. It is not a ‘free toy’ or an opportunity to screw them over. Why do some people just not grasp this?

    Sorry dude. I did have a chuckle at pretty much all of your comments telling you to deauthorise it, but I think you’d then be unable to message it? I do hope you get your kindle back, if all else fails then take heart that whoever found it is at least using it for it’s intended purpose.

  20. I wanted to make some Portal 2 reference, but I’m sure you’ve already heard them anyway. At least your kindle didn’t get spaced?
    I’m not sure what would freak me out more, getting a message from the guy who owned the kindle, or that the kindle I’ve been shamelessly ripping off just HAD to be WIL fucking WHEATON.
    I hope he gets in touch with you.

  21. I’m not sure leaving a Kindle on an airplane justifies a hatred of public transportation; the same thing could’ve happened in a cafe, on a bench in a park, or literally anywhere humans exist and congregate.
    Fly or don’t fly, take public transit or not, but saying you hate doing something because people are dicks (and saying it on the internet, the land that has a dick inscribed on its family crest) is a sparkly, scarlet-colored fish and a little hypocritical; there are dicks everywhere.

  22. Hugs for Wil. You can still be nice and stop giving them a reason to keep it. Disconnect it from your account. Don’t enable people to be dicks. :) And…ok. So, St. Louis conventions suck. But we have a con in June called Con-Tamination…it’s scifi/horror. Really, it would just be an excuse to stand in line for 3 hours to meet you. So…if I say please, with geeky cosplay on top…I hope you’ll at least look at the page and get a good laugh before you say no. :) I can’t really think of a reason you’d make an appearance at our anime-con. Ok, /endfangirldorkdom

  23. of note, if you de-register the device from your computer (which you can do, in the manage your kindle section), the ‘finder’ can still use it, if they register to their own account. this closes access to your payment info, but calling to have it locked does in effect brick it completely, as another commenter stated.
    just clarifying :)

  24. It you can’t get a location through Amazon, then just brick it. If their initial reaction to getting your Kindle was to start stealing with it, don’t expect a turn-around. So sad…

  25. I left my nook in a seat on a plane. Fortunately for me the person that found it contacted me. I was quite pleased with humanity that week.

  26. is what you’re thinking of. That lets you unbind a Kindle from an account, so the opportunist at least can’t keep draining purchases off of the device. They can then bind it to their own account, as others have mentioned.
    You can, however, call Amazon customer service and give them the Kindle’s serial number, and they can set the Kindle to remotely lock (putting the Kindle into a ‘call Amazon customer service’ mode) next time it checks in with the Amazon servers. And you can get the serial number off of the ‘manage devices’ page listed above.
    To contact them to get the device locked, go to the Kindle forum at and click the ‘Contact Us’ button (which generates an obnoxiously long contextually-relevant link I didn’t want to paste in here), and will get you in touch with someone.

  27. I don’t give you good odds on getting your Kindle back, but I admire you for trying. Also, I have mine password protected so in the event I lose it, whoever gets it won’t be able to go on a spending spree. Finally, remember that if you don’t get it back, you can still get back all the books and games you purchased for it on a new device. Good luck, Wil.

  28. I dropped my iTouch walking off the Metro here in Houston. In the time it took me to turn and reach for it, someone walked off with it. Right in front of me. In broad daylight. With others watching. It’s been 6 months and…yeah, I know I’ll never see it again. It hadn’t downloaded the app that would have allowed me to remote wipe it or locate it :( I could see the person logged into it playing Friends with Words but couldn’t get any info to find the person. Luckily, as soon as I knew it was gone, I shut down anything the person could have used to purchase anything from it. As someone who has been in your shoes (less the spending spree), I know it sucks donkey balls.

  29. That’s the downfall of Kindle’s, you don’t lose 1 book, you lose all the books and your wallet, and your ability to restrain from cursing excessively. I’m sorry you got pegged by an aeronautical dick.

  30. The nice thing about Amazon is they’ll refund all of those purchases back to you. When I bought my husband’s Fire when they first came out, I noticed a BUNCH of random Amazon charges to my account. Turns out someone who really liked Madea and Celine Dion (what?) stole my Fire while it was being shipped. I received an empty box the next day. Amazon not only replaced my Kindle but refunded all of my charges.
    I really wish that there was some password protection to the Fire (or at the very least they don’t ship it with the account active, which wouldn’t have helped you, I suppose)to prevent these sorts of things.
    Hey Kid, give Wil his Fire back. Geez.

  31. In my experience, Amazon is really good about reversing unauthorized charges. Someone gained access to my Amazon account around Christmas time, and bought a couple of movies (The Girl Next Door and Friends With Benefits iirc), which I didn’t notice the charges for on my bank statement until the end of January. Used the help page, had them call me, and they fixed it and refunded the charges in a few minutes.
    I also had a package get stolen off my porch seconds after the mail carrier dropped it there (I live on a busy street). Went through the help page process, they called me, and they shipped out a replacement the same day. It was a small box, with a new Logitech mouse in it, as my old one was dying after 5-6 years.
    Amazon has awesome customer service.

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