How often have you left your laptop in your apartment and walked away? Joshua Kaufman did just that on March 21st, but this time, he returned to find it missing. The thief crawled through the window, and quickly exited with the laptop in tow.
As any good citizen would, Mr. Kaufman immediately called the police department and reported the theft. According to the BBC, the Oakland Police Department filed a report, noting that the laptop had tracking software installed.
Hidden, the software used to track the laptop is designed for iMacs and MacBooks, allowing the subscriber to,
"...locate your stolen computer anywhere on the planet, collect photos of the thief and screen shots of the computer in use. (We also collect lots of nerdy network information, but we won’t bore you with the details!)"
Shortly after the laptop was stolen, the application began sending pictures back to Mr. Kaufman (using the Macbook's internal webcam):
Image Source: news.bbc.co.uk
Mr. Kaufman setup a website, thisguyhasmymackbook, with pictures and screenshots from Hidden. Eventually, the software sent a picture back which the police were able to use to identify the thief and recover the laptop. However, this action was taken after Ms. Joshi of the Oakland Police Department was contacted by ABC's Good Morning America (according to the BBC), finding that,
"Mr Kaufman's initial report had been filed in error with theft reports for which no leads existed to aid the investigation."
Certainly in this case, Hidden played a key role in the recovery of the laptop, along with a bit of poking and prodding from ABC to jumpstart the investigation.