It seems that a smooth-talking politician really can get out of situations that most of us can’t. Ars Technica brings us the story of San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener, who recently had his iPhone stolen during a mugging but who negotiated with his muggers to get it back for $200.

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Wiener explains to Ars that he took out his iPhone while he was walking down the street only to have it promptly snatched by a woman who was flanked by two men. He asked the woman to give it back and was told that he could have it only if he went to a nearby ATM and withdrew $500. On his way to the nearest ATM, he successfully negotiated their price down to $200, which is still actually more than the iPhone would have been worth to his assailants since he could have easily remotely locked the device at a later time, thus ruining its resale value.

All the same, they agreed to the reduced price and he then recruited a random stranger off the street to help them exchange the items. Although he lost his $200, he did successfully get his not-too-bright assailants to stand right in front of the security cameras at the Wells Fargo ATM.

“And then after that they left, and there was a Wells Fargo security guard and she and I went into the bank to call the police,” he tells Ars. “We came outside and hailed the police car that happened to be going by and they came and took the report and ultimately in the evening they were able to apprehend the woman.”

At any rate, this story is just another example of how stealing someone’s smartphone just isn’t a profitable enterprise anymore. While not everyone has the guts to negotiate with muggers in this fashion, you should know that you do have options if someone swipes your phone that don’t involve completely giving into their demands.

Be sure to read the full story over at Ars Technica at this link.

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