Laptop’s spy camera helps track down computer thief

Irish Independent
01.06.2011
By Emma Barnett

A Californian man managed to track down the thief who had stolen his laptop using spy software which took photos of the criminal using the computer.

Joshua Kaufman, from Oakland, decided to take matters into his own hands after his local police force did little to help him retrieve the Apple MacBook which had been stolen from his home.

Remembering that he had installed a security programme called Hidden on his machine, he activated the software in a bid to find his laptop and the thief.

Hidden not only allowed Kauffman to see where the robber had taken the laptop – it also took a series of photos of the man using his machine and lying next to it on a sofa.

Armed with this information, Kaufman was able to work out the robber’s job and whereabouts. But despite presenting the evidence to the police, officers again failed to take action.

As a last resort Kaufman took to publishing the information online using his Tumblr blog, “This Guy Had My MacBook”, and his Twitter account, quickly attracting thousands of followers.

He said that he felt that the “power of internet” had got behind him.

Through social networking websites the US media was alerted to his mission and contacted the police on his behalf, asking them to take a second look at the case with the new information.

After two months of ignoring Kaufman’s case, deeming it “low priority”, the Oakland police force were able to catch the man revealed by the software.

“ARRESTED! An Oakland police officer just called me to let me know that they arrested the guy in my photos! BOOYA!” Kaufman tweeted earlier today, upon learning that the police had tracked the thief down.

“The police used my evidence … that he was a driver and tricked him into picking them up. Nice work OPD!”

Full article

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