police recover stolen laptop via hidden softwarePolice in Oakland, California, recovered a stolen laptop after the owners Hidden App took pictures of the thief and email’d them home. Joshua Kaufman, an Oakland interaction designer, reported the theft in March but Police initially failed to trace the laptop even after Joshua supplied images of the thief using the laptop and location data sent in by the App.

Frustrated by the lack of action, Joshua started a blog on Tumblr – thisguyhasmymacbook. The steady stream of ‘thief updates’ and the seeming resistance of the Oakland Police to go and recover the laptop served up on a silver platter quickly garnered media attention, some believing it was an attempt at viral campaigning.

“People started saying it was a viral campaign from us,” Hidden chief Toby De Havilland told the BBC.

On Tuesday, a producer with ABC television’s Good Morning America news and entertainment programme contacted the police to inquire about the case, and was told that due to a paperwork error there was no information supplied by Joshua Kaufman attached to the case. Soon after the connection was made police moved in and arrested a Mr Aldebashi, who made “admission statements” indicating he knew the laptop was stolen. “Police have not charged Mr Aldebashi with the initial burglary, and Mr Kaufman said he believes Mr Aldebashi bought the stolen laptop on the street.”

Image courtesy of the BBC.