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Dublin: 10 °C Saturday 24 March, 2018

Man tracks down MacBook thief by using the stolen computer to spy on him

Software installed on Joshua Kaufman’s MacBook allowed him, and police to track down the burglar by taking pictures of him in secret.

The software installed on the computer took photos and screen grabs of its new user and his online activities.
The software installed on the computer took photos and screen grabs of its new user and his online activities.

Updated 3.50pm

A CALIFORNIA MAN has managed to track down the man who allegedly stole his MacBook using software installed on the computer which allows secret photographs to be taken.

Joshua Kaufman set up a blog to post pictures of the alleged thief after the MacBook was taken on 21 March 2011. He had installed the theft protection software Hidden, which Gawker says can be activated when the property is stolen.

He captures images of the man using the computer in a sitting room…

…in the car

..and, er, in bed

Images via This Guy Has My Macbook

The New York Daily News reports that Kaufman filed a police reports after the MacBook, a Kindle and other items were stolen, but it wasn’t until the blog started gaining attention that the police in Oakland took a proper look a the case.

Yesterday Kaufman posted an update to his blog which read “thanks to the power of the Internet, I have the attention of the Oakland Police, who are tracking this guy right now”. He tweeted:

Kaufman also tweeted that the police had used evidence gleaned from the thief’s emails to track him to a cab service he worked for. He posted a second update yesterday which read:

ARRESTED! An Oakland police officer just called me to let me know they arrested the guy in my photos. BOOYA!

ABC Tech News host Becky Worley has said that she has contacted both Kaufman and the Oakland Police Department and has confirmed that Kaufman filed a report of the robbery with police after his belongings were stolen, and that a suspect has been arrested. There had been suspicions that the episode may have been a viral campaign initiated by the makers of the Hidden software.

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