Nlets News: Mobile Device Lookup Service Now Available

May 24, 2022

Nlets is now offering a new Mobile Device Lookup service that gives law enforcement agencies access to information about mobile devices for criminal investigation and crime reduction activities. The new service leverages the Recipero National Mobile Property Register (NMPR) search which returns status and history information about a mobile device based on its International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. The IMEI is unique to a mobile device, much like a VIN is unique to a vehicle, and may be found in the device settings or from the carrier associated with the device.



Recipero collects information on mobile devices from multiple authoritative sources and has billions of records from multiple countries, U.S. law enforcement agencies, insurance companies, and more. This information has helped police agencies investigate crime involving mobile devices, such as:

  • Theft from individuals or retail locations or recovered at crime scenes

  • Smuggling, fraud, and human trafficking rings

  • Disaster recovery and border patrol


How to Use the Service

The Nlets Mobile Device Lookup service uses two message keys, MDQ for the initial query and MDR for the response. The MDQ requires two pieces of information: A device IMEI number and a three-letter purpose code. Optionally, users may also include a case number or other identifying information about the search.


In response, Nlets returns a MDR message containing status and historical information about the device based on the Recipero NMPR system. Additionally, Recipero logs calls to its NMPR service so future MDQ messages with the same IMEI will show all prior searches.


Use Case

While investigating a crime scene at which several suspects had been arrested on charges of distributing narcotics, investigators discovered multiple high-end mobile phones. Suspecting the phones might be involved in illegal activity, investigators gathered the IMEI numbers from the phones and sent MDQ messages to Nlets. The returned MDR messages revealed the phones were all recently reported stolen from a local retailer, allowing investigators to link the suspects to the theft and add robbery to their charges.


Additional Information

Nlets users may consult Section 50 of the Nlets Wiki to learn more. For specific questions, contact the Nlets Service Center for more information.