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Minnesota Basketball: Kevin Dorsey's Phone Reported Stolen After Video Posted

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A quick update on the latest in the phone video story.

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

There has been an interesting development in the Kevin Dorsey phone video story.

This raises a number of new angles, so let's talk about what we know, go over some of the assumptions this news automatically leads folks to make, and talk about what is next.

What we know

All the following details are from Marcus Fuller's story in the PiPress.

- On Sunday, 2/28 Kevin Dorsey reported his phone stolen to the Bloomington Police Department.

- According to Dorsey's report, the phone was stolen outside the House of Hoops shoe store in the Mall of America on 2/24. For reference, the video was posted to Twitter on 2/26.

- The Bloomington Police have confirmed they are investigating, that they have not recovered the phone, and that they have not identified any suspects.

- Most interesting is the information in bold below from BPD:

Bloomington Deputy Police Chief Mike Hartley confirmed the department is investigating the reported theft of Dorsey’s cellphone at the Mall of America. The phone was reported stolen Sunday, two days after the video was posted, but Hartley said there is video evidence of the phone being taken Wednesday, Feb. 24.

Reviewing our assumptions

The most common reaction on Twitter (from TC media members and regular users alike) was one of "interesting, but also odd that the phone gets reported after the video goes up." I completely get this. Why? Because it was my first thought too. You don't have to be overly cynical to come to that thought. After all, it's convenient right?

And then I started thinking about whether I'd report a phone stolen. I know 33 year old me definitely would because my job has made me a stickler about information security. But 18 year old college me? I'm guessing he might not report it right away (if at all). 33 year old me knows all the reasons why having a timely police report can come in handy. 18 year old college student me might not see the same value in a police report until something bad happened. I can imagine how I might have found it to be a hassle, that I'd think that the police wouldn't catch the person responsible (I'd still think that today), etc. The value of age and experience in something like this should not be overlooked or assumed to be a constant. And this assumes you knew it was stolen. There is also a scenario where you thought you lost it, in which case I would expect that no one would report it stolen.

You might also be thinking "how convenient that his phone wasn't locked." If you're someone who does lock your phone it must seem like a no-brainer. Except that not securing your phone is actually pretty common:

A new nationwide survey by Consumer Reports found that 34 percent of all smartphone owners do absolutely nothing, not even a simple code to lock the screen.

...

Consumer Reports found that only 36 percent of the smartphone users have set a 4-digit PIN to lock their phone.

...

Even fewer people take more aggressive measures to protect the data on their phone, such as:

  • Install software that can find the phone if it's lost: 22 percent
  • Install an antivirus app: 14 percent
  • Use a PIN longer than 4 digits, a password or unlock pattern: 11 percent
  • Install software that can erase the data on the phone: 8 percent
  • Use security features other than screen lock, such as encryption: 7 percent

(hat tip to Jonathan Foster, @GettingGophery, for sharing that link on Twitter last night)

Where does this leave us?

If this report is true and the phone was stolen, Dorsey is a victim and we've got a mess about how/why he, Mason, and McBrayer were suspended. If it's not true, then it's a false report which would be a whole different type of mess. In the meantime, we as fans have no way of knowing where this is headed. I'm intrigued by BPD's statement about there being video evidence of the theft. However I also know that a single line in a single article doesn't resolve all of the unknowns nor does it automatically absolve Dorsey of a role in the alleged incident.

My recommendation for everyone is the same as it was before. Focus on what we know, try to limit your assumptions (or at least recognize when you make assumptions and how they could be wrong), and wait for this to keep playing out.