California Woman Uses Remote Control Software To Track Stolen MacBook

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A Santa Cruz woman is using Leopard’s Back to My Mac remote control software to track a thief who stole her laptop.

The woman, named Joey, had her MacBook and iPhone stolen from her truck. The thief didn’t wipe the MacBook, and Joey was able to log on remotely every time the crook connected to the internet using Back To My Mac. Built-into OS X, Back To My Mac allows administrators to take full control of machines over the Net.

Joey was able to remove sensitive data; copy and delete files; and then spy on the thief using the MacBook’s built-in iSight camera.

The crook spends a lot of time in cafes using free WiFi to search file sharing networks for software, music and movies.

As the crook surfed the Net, Joey was able to compile a full profile for police, including his Gmail account, home IP address, mother’s maiden name, and even snap clear pictures showing the detail of his tattoos.

Santa Cruz police are reportedly issuing a warrant to arrest the thief.

Joey was documenting the entire process on a LiveJournal account, which has been taken offline, likely to prevent the crook from getting wind of his impending arrest.

Via Roughly Drafted.

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  • Apple Mac Stud

    Wow, that has got be one of the best notebook recovery stories in the world. Good for Joey. I’m so glad she’s about to get her MacBook and iPhone back! I’m certain I’d go postal if someone stole by beloved MacBook. 

  • imajoebob

    Cool. So long as the prosecutors don’t hang on to the computer as evidence.

    And I’m left wondering how an apparently very bright woman could have ever left her Mac (and iPhone!) in the car for someone to steal.

  • Ben

    This is cool. I almost want someone to steal my macbook so I could do this :)

    But tbf what a thick thief.

About the author

Leander KahneyLeander Kahney is the editor and publisher of Cult of Mac. He is the NYT bestselling author of Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products; Inside Steve’s Brain; Cult of Mac; and Cult of iPod. Leander has written for Wired, MacWeek, Scientific American, and The Guardian in London. Follow Leander on Twitter @lkahney and Facebook.

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