The pickpocket reportedly took the phone from Zou Bin when they shared a taxi somewhere between Yiyang and Changsha in the central province of Hunan.
Since he did not have a backup, Zou was more concerned with losing his contacts than the phone itself.
"I know you are the man who sat beside me. I can assure you that I will find you," he texted the thief. "Look through the contact numbers in my mobile and you will know what trade I am in. Send me back the phone to the address below if you are sensible."
Zou works in the pub industry which often has links to gangs. The threat had the desired effect and days later Zou received a parcel containing his SIM card and 11 pages of handwritten contact numbers.
"It would take a while to write from one to one thousand, let alone names and a whole string of digits. I suppose (the thief's) hand is swelling," Zou said.
If you aren't already using a service such as iCloud to backup your contacts, calendars, and other important data, use this as a reminder to do so.
Read More [via CultofMac]