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Thursday, 2 June 2011

Police arrest MacBook thief caught on camera by victim

Joshua Kaufman's MacBook was stolen, he pursued the thief who took it by using the "Hidden" software he had installed on the laptop. It allowed him to check in and capture snapshots of the guy in possession of the computer, using the built-in iSight camera. Kaufman created a blog with pictures of the man in various states of undress and activity as he used the MacBook. It took more than two months, but Tuesday, the Oakland police finally arrested the suspected thief, a limo driver who they tricked into picking them up.
As Kaufman explains on Tumblr in "This Guy Has My MacBook," the laptop was taken March 21 from his Oakland apartment, while he was away from it. He reported it to the police, "but they couldn't help me due to lack of resources."
Not so the resourceful Kaufman, an "interactive designer" at ExactTarget, which provides on-demand email and one-to-one marketing. He had installed Hidden, an app that starts at $15 a year, which not only locates the missing device, but also collects photos on the other side using the computer's built-in camera, as well as screenshots of activity on Macs.
Kaufman joins the ranks of other victims who refused to let thieves make a clean getaway, who used the tracking software installed on the devices to lead them to justice. We've told you about Mark Bao, who posted a humiliating video of his violator (which Kaufman repeated, with stills), and Hugo Scheckter, who tracked down his iPad and offered a play-by-play through tweets.
He posted several pictures of the alleged thief, who seemed to spend his time in front of the computer sleeping (see photo above), in bed (shirtless), signing into his Gmail, deleting Kaufman's Mac account and "staring deliriously" (see photo below). The app even captured a picture of the thief driving away with Kaufman's computer.

 

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