Supervisor recalls effort to find phone

Joe Metzgar remembers telling himself, as he put his phone on the roof of his car and picked up his dog to put her inside, “Don’t leave it there.”

The Logan Township supervisor, however, left it there, and when he arrived at Penn State Altoona from his house in Homer’s Gap to walk his dogs a couple weeks ago, the phone was gone — and he didn’t see it when he backtracked the 2.5 miles to his house.

He hadn’t been smart — but his device was a smartphone, and he recalled fellow supervisor Jim Patterson talking about an app for such a problem.

He called Patterson, got the details, signed into the manufacturer’s website for lost phones and received a notification of the approximate whereabouts of his device — along a quarter-mile stretch of Grandview Road.

The notification included an added promise that within 24 hours, the manufacturer’s system would tell him his phone’s exact location.

About six hours later, that more precise information arrived in the form of a Grandview Road address.

It was dark by then, so Metzgar waited until morning, when he found his phone on the gravel berm under a mailbox.

It had been frosty during the night, but the phone — which was in a rubberized case — was unharmed.

It was also locked, with a notice on it for a finder to “Call Joe” at his home number, which he’d registered when he bought the device.

Metzgar now keeps the phone in his pocket whenever he needs to put it down outside the house, he told the other supervisors.

While Metzgar used his phone manufacturer’s proprietary system to locate his lost device, any GPS-enabled phone can be retrieved in a similar way, Supervisor Ed Frontino said.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.