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Who needs the rumored “Find My Mac” feature in the upcoming Mac OS X Lion? In the case of a stolen MacBook, all that was required to catch the thief who nabbed it was the built-in iSight camera and a blog outlining what the suspect was up to.
The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that Oakland police have arrested a suspected MacBook thief -- although in this case, “suspected” doesn’t quite accurately describe him, since Muthanna Aldebashi of Alameda was caught red-handed thanks to photos taken with the built-in iSight camera, which the victim then posted to his blog.
The victim, Joshua Kaufman, had filed a police report about his stolen MacBook in late March, which was swiped from his North Oakland apartment. But Kaufman soon had another tool in his own personal fight against crime -- the MacBook had Hidden installed, software that can track a stolen laptop and even take photos of whoever’s using the computer when it’s connected to the internet.
Kaufman used the photos provided by Hidden to write a blog called “This Guy Has My MacBook,” which soon became something of an internet sensation. The photos showed the suspect driving with the laptop open in his lap, peering into the screen while shirtless and even the one above, where he’s asleep on the couch.
As fate would have it, Kaufman’s police report had been erroneously closed, but the increasing media attention over his blog soon lead the police to Aldebashi, a 27-year-old taxi driver who was arrested when undercover officers had the cab company send him for a pickup. Needless to say, they found the laptop in question at the man’s home.
"It shows that when the system works, it works great," police spokeswoman Holly Joshi said. "The diligence of Mr. Kaufman is exactly what we need -- people who are engaged and are making an effort to reduce crime."
Kaufman celebrated with one last blog post at the height of his short-lived internet celebrity: "An Oakland police officer just called me to let me know that they arrested the guy in my photos! BOOYA!"
Remember, would-be thieves: Crime doesn’t pay… well, that or don’t steal anything with a camera attached to it…
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
(Image courtesy of SFGate.com)