Oakland police used photos provided by spy software on a MacBook to recover a stolen laptop.
According to BBC (opens in new tab), Joshua Kaufman's MacBook was stolen in March when a thief broke into his home.
Kaufman promptly reported the theft to the police who then misfiled the complaint. He also informed the police that he had tracking software installed on his laptop but the police failed to take any action.
Kaufman then started a website called thisguyhasmymacbook (opens in new tab)on Tumblr and posted the information gathered using the tracking software, called Hidden on the blog.
The photos posted by Kaufman included a man, later identified as Muthanna Aldebashi, sitting on a couch, driving a cab and watching videos on YouTube. The police nabbed him after they learned which cab company he worked for using a screenshot of his email.
The police were forced to take action after Kaufman’s blog attracted US media attention. Oakland police began investigating the case on May 27 and recovered the laptop within three days.
"It shows that when the system works, it works great. The diligence of Mr. Kaufman is exactly what we need - people who are engaged and are making an effort to reduce crime. If they bring us solid leads, that makes it easier on us to investigate We hope they use that technology,” Office Holly Joshi said in a statement.