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Will you hear him now? This guy does not have your cell phone

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Updated: 9/05/2013 10:35 am
NORTH LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- You think losing your cell phone is frustrating? How about being the guy everyone thinks has it? That's the reality for a man in North Las Vegas, all because of one big GPS mix-up.

Many feel that technology is never wrong -- it's only humans that are wrong. But in Wayne Dobson's case, technology has failed him. For more than two years, a GPS error has been falsely leading people with missing cell phones to Dobson's North Las Vegas address. Dobson regulary gets people knocking at his door asking for lost cell phones.

“They want their phone. Well the phone's not here,” said Dobson. “Now you put yourself in that situation. I’m being woken up all hours of the night --I haven't had a decent night of sleep in the last two years. I try and explain to people, I don't have your cell phone”

Two years ago Clark County zoning accidentally assigned a cell phone tower to Dobson's home address. When someone searches for his or her missing phone in the GPS locator system, the ping pops up and sends them to Dobson's porch.

“All I know is they don’t have what they think is here, and so they'll show up at 2:30 in the morning,” he says.

The problem is so disruptive that Dobson has put up a sign to help people realize the error when they arrive to his address.

To Dobson, the problem is about more than being woken up in the middle of the night -- it's a county resource problem. He told the county commission that the issue poses a problem to the police department since the police use the exact same system as GPS locators to determine a cell phone's location.

Dobson got the attention of the Clark County Board of Commissioners Monday when he blasted North Las Vegas police for falling suspect to the county problem. If a 911 caller doesn't know a caller's address, dispatch computers provide operators the best address they have -- which in many cases is Dobson's.

"Imagine if they're here and they're not where the problem is," Dobson said.

County officials are now working with the city to correct the latitude-longitude mistake. Fixing the problem will require physically changing the tower's address. 

Dobson is looking forward to the day when he can take his sign down.


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