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Remote access tech nabs smut-fan laptop theft suspect

Busted while gawking at norks

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A US victim of a laptop theft was able to recover his laptop after using remote access software to log in and monitor what the thief was doing.

A thief pinched Jose Caceres's laptop on 4 September after he left it on top of his car roof while carrying goods into his home in White Plains, a town in New York state about 40km from the Big Apple. Caceres hit on the idea several days later of using remote access software to track down the crook who swiped his PC, but his early attempts proved frustrating.

"He was mostly using it to watch porn. I couldn't get any information about him," Caceres told local reporters.

Caceres hit paydirt after the light-fingered grumble flick fan registered on a website, using his name and address, which Caceres passed onto local police. Cops arrested the suspect a few hours later, LoHub.com reports. What he was watching at the time and where his hands were before he submitted them to the cuffs isn't recorded, which is probably just as well.

Police reportedly recovered Caceres's laptop from the White Plains apartment of suspect Gabriel Mejia, 34, who faces charges of "fourth-degree grand larceny" over the alleged offence.

The brand of the laptop and remote access software featuring in the case has sadly gone unreported.

In another recent laptop-nab case, a White Plains woman used the stolen Mac's camera to capture a picture of a suspect, identified as a man who attended a party at the suspect's flat a few weeks prior to the theft. Two New Yorkers were subsequently arrested and charged with theft and burglary offences.

In both cases the victims of laptop thefts used a bit of lateral thinking, and not a little persistence, to track down suspected crooks. A variety of anti-theft software packages that track the IP address of PCs in the event they are stolen are readily available, and have also led to arrests in the past. ®

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