Apple Laptop Thief Busted by Built-in Camera and Add-on Software

Posted by , , at 4:56 pm

Here’s another story about a burglar busted by innovative technology. I’ve written about many of the “next-gen” features that have made life tougher for intruders: smart home cameras that are triggered by motion, alarm system that text or email you when anything happens in your home, and even protection against the “Smash and Crash” approach that defeats almost every traditional alarm system. But this report on an Oakland, CA man who had his laptop stolen describes some truly cutting edge technology. Best of all, the story was written and published in the UK – which explains some of the unusual spelling!

A designer who had his laptop stolen helped police by using a spy camera programme to take pictures and catch the thief red-handed. Joshua Kaufman thought he had lost his Apple MacBook when a thief broke into his apartment and stole the computer in March. And with police giving his burglary report a low priority, he was resigned to never recovering the expensive laptop until he remembered the software he had installed on his MacBook.

The Slick Software that Made it Possible

Using “Hidden” software, Kaufman remotely took pictures of the thief using his stolen computer – before handing the evidence to police to make an arrest. Mr. Kaufman captured the thief in a variety of bizarre locations – including using the stolen MacBook in bed, and in his car. “Hidden” also provided him with location information, which police in Oakland, California, used to identify the thief as a taxi driver. Officers then caught the thief by arranging for a “pick up” from his car firm and arresting the man when he appeared in person.

As one of my work colleagues said, it must have been a bit creepy to see the perp using the stolen laptop – but the victim persevered, and justice prevailed.

Not Just Images – but also Location

Mr. Kaufman said he started using the software once he realised his laptop had been stolen when the thief got into his apartment through an open window on Monday, March 21. He also lost a Kindle and some jewelry stuffed into a computer bag.  Mr. Kaufman said: ‘The following Thursday I started getting images and location information. ‘I was amazed. I was, like, this thing actually works!’

Getting the Police to Respond

Kaufman’s one-man investigation hit an obstacle when police told him they didn’t have the resources to follow up his complaint – despite him telling officers exactly where the thief was. It was only when he created a blog – ‘This Guy Has My MacBook’ – which generated support from thousands on the internet, that police were forced to revisit the case and eventually catch the thief. Oakland Police finally nabbed the thief on Tuesday night after he was caught on camera. Kaufman tweeted shortly after: “‘ARRESTED! An Oakland police officer just called me to let me know that they arrested the guy in my photos! BOOYA!”

Good to know that blogging really can make a difference!

Once again, we’ve kept an eye on the crime scene around the US – even when the reports come from overseas! FrontPoint is your best resource for the crime statistics, burglar behaviors, and the latest technologies to thwart intruders – including our very popular Top 10 Home Security Tips. FrontPoint is also the only alarm company in the country to use safer cellular monitoring in every system we sell – and charge less for it. But what people really know us for is our smarter Interactive level of monitoring. Make sure your home is protected: by FrontPoint, the leader in wireless home security and the #1 ranked alarm company in the US.

Comments (2)

Post a Comment | View Comments
  1. Oakland Taxi

    Some really fantastic work on behalf of the owner of this internet site, absolutely great subject material.

  2. Oakland Taxi

    Some really fantastic work on behalf of the owner of this internet site, absolutely great subject material.