Man arrested after stolen laptop snaps his photo
This story has been updated with information from one of the victims.
Sometimes thieves are caught red handed, but a 19-year-old man was caught red faced after he powered up a stolen laptop with theft protection software that sent his photo to the proper owner.
The laptop was stolen sometime before 2:45 a.m. Sunday from a home in the 500 block of Elm Street when two 21-year-old Ann Arbor men returned from a night out and discovered their rooms had been broken into, said Ann Arbor police Lt. Renee Bush. Among the stolen items were baseball hats, video games, checks, office equipment and a backpack with a laptop computer inside of it, Bush said.
That laptop had anti-theft software that takes a picture of the user every time it’s turned on, Bush said. When the suspect — expected to be arraigned on charges Monday afternoon — powered up the computer, the software took his picture and sent it to a website, allowing the owner to provide it to police, Bush said.
It was Logan Chadde’s computer that was stolen and the $40 Orbicule software that managed to result in the arrest.
Chadde said once the man logged online to a “Guest” account on the laptop, he received an email that contained a picture of the man, a screenshot of what he was doing on the computer and the laptop’s location. He said the software actually took a screen shot of the man Facebook chatting to another person about how he was going to sell the stolen laptop.
“It was an amazing screen shot to get at a perfect moment with him chatting those things,” Chadde said. “I called the police and sent that to them and I had his full name.”
Usually when a break-in occurs, it’s hard for police to develop leads unless there’s blatant evidence left behind or an eyewitness calls in a tip. However, the amount of information Chadde was able to supply meant the suspect in the case was identified extremely easily.
The laptop hasn’t been returned to Chadde yet, but he’s hoping he’ll see it again in the near future.
“It’s really frustrating and I kind of got the impression that this happens all the time,” he said. “But, this is one of the few times the police had a lot of information to go off and hopefully help. If they hadn’t caught anyone or made an arrest, it’d be much more frustrating.”
Police knew the man from previous investigations and they arrested him, Bush said.
Chadde and his roommate left the home and locked their bedroom doors late Saturday night and returned between 2:45 and 3:30 a.m. Sunday, Bush said. The first man noticed the door to his room was broken and it appeared someone had simply punched his way in, she said. Chadde used his key to unlock his room but noticed the door was damaged after he entered.
The other people who live at the home had a party during the time the men were gone, she said. No one had permission to enter the rooms.
Police are not releasing the 19-year-old man’s name until he is arraigned and it’s not known where he’s from, Bush said.
It’s the second time in the past year a theft has been reported at the home on Elm Street.
During a party late on Oct. 29 and early on Oct. 30, a laptop was stolen from a bedroom, Bush said. The room was locked but friends had access to the room, she said.
Chadde said the house has had parties other than those two times and only experienced problems when people the roommates didn't know showed up.