Thieves caught red-handed thanks to screensaver

A pair of bungling thieves have been arrested after their crime was uncovered - by a screensaver installed on a laptop they had stolen.

Masotja Methula, 32, and his uncle Maxwell Musa, 46, thought they had got away with a crime spree that saw their home in Matsulu in South Africa filled with goods to the value of R50,000 (around £4,250) - but were caught out by a simple piece of technology.

According to coverage in the African Eye, repeated over on News24, the pair enlisted the help of a local computer expert to help them repair 'their' laptop and get it ready for sale - but when the system was switched on, the screensaver turned out to be a picture of its rightful owner.

The unnamed man recognised the photo, and immediately alerted police to his suspicions - resulting the arrest of Methula and Musa and the recovery of stolen TVs, computers, fridges, and audio equipment from their home.

The pair have not yet pleaded in front of the court, and are being held on remand until a bail hearing scheduled for the 7th of February.

Although there are plenty of high-tech security packages available for computers - such as the software that e-mailed a picture of two unknown individuals to the previous owner of a stolen laptop late last month - this latest incident shows that sometimes the simplest detail can mean a life of crime is uncovered.