Nadav Nirenberg, 27, created a fake online dating profile after discovering the thief had been using his OKCupid account to send messages to women after stealing his phone on New Year's Eve.
According to Sky News, Nirenberg had left the phone in the back of a taxi, and despite calling with offers of a reward, had no luck in finding his phone.
He explained: "I created another OKCupid account as 'Jennifer Gonzalez', a flirtacious 24-year-old who just moved to Brooklyn. Then I chatted him up."
Nirenberg set up a meeting with the thief and within hours the man was on his way to meet 'Jennifer'.
He said: "Little did he know that on his way up the stairs I would pop out behind him, calmly give him $20 for my phone and tell him cops were on the way.
"When he realised what had happened the look on his face was priceless. He must have felt like an idiot. He was all dressed up, he was carrying a bottle of wine and he stank of cologne.
"The $20 was because I wanted to lead with a peace offering instead of a confrontation. I wanted it to be over as quickly as possible."
Nirenberg believes the man who stole the phone was the taxi driver of the cab where he left his iPhone.
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