You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Jun 4, 2012 : 10:53 a.m.

Man arrested after stolen laptop snaps his photo

By Kyle Feldscher

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.

View Larger Map

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 12:53 p.m.

Welcome BoingBoing Readers!


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 11:46 a.m.



Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 3:18 a.m.

Hopefully this article will deter any other would-be thieves from doing the same. Assuming they are literate, and have access to prior to their would-be thievery.


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 2:21 a.m.

When will there be an update with a name?


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 12:35 a.m.

This "news" reads surprisingly like an advertisement for "the $40 Orbicule software". I'm wondering if it's ethical.


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 3:21 a.m.

I'd rather they posted the name of the Backpack Bandit.

Dhurandar Bhatavdekar

Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 2:39 a.m.

Of all the rampant ethical violations around us, you picked on this one? There better be utopia. As a reader, the first question in my mind was "what is the name of the software?"


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 1:23 a.m.

They also mentioned "Facebook". Do you consider that an ad?

Kk Ichikawa

Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 12:34 a.m.

THANK YOU MEDIA!!!..So much for a thief ever powering up a stolen laptop again......You just killed THAT application/software! Don't power it up, just sell it!!


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 2:34 a.m.

>> .So much for a thief ever powering up a stolen laptop again......You just killed THAT application/software! Don't power it up, just sell it!! << Aren't you perhaps overestimating (1) the power and reach of, and (2) the reading abilities and habits of petty thieves.


Mon, Jun 4, 2012 : 11:06 p.m.

Love it!!


Mon, Jun 4, 2012 : 8:26 p.m.

How do you spell STUPID?


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 11:15 a.m.



Mon, Jun 4, 2012 : 8:11 p.m.

very 'karma'-y. will the ACLU protest such software?


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 4:57 p.m.

no tom. I'm just fine with this case .. i was being facetious, since protesting this case is just the sort of stunt the ACLU is lately boneheaded enough to try, per their backing of a local crank who is sueing---with ACLU backing-- the AATA for not allowing him to place antisemitic ads on city busses. I used to contribute to the org.....but no more.

Tom Teague

Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 11:38 a.m.

aadc- Was my comment pulled because I used a verb that is also the trademarked name of a popular photo-enhancement application? If so, fair enough.


Mon, Jun 4, 2012 : 9:33 p.m.

That would depend on who the software is used against.

Tom Teague

Mon, Jun 4, 2012 : 9:10 p.m.

Only if you photoshop a dunce cap onto the perp's photo before you turn it over to the police. That could be prejudicial. But now that that's out of my system, I'm curious if you think that there's a potential violation of someone's civil rights here.


Mon, Jun 4, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.

Youwhine. Way to blame the victim. That's a lesson, too.


Mon, Jun 4, 2012 : 6:24 p.m.

I love reading stories like this, using technology to stop those among us that think it is ok for them to take whatever they want whenever they want. I hope he gets to chat with his friends on Facebook about how fun he having in jail.


Mon, Jun 4, 2012 : 5:45 p.m.

I think the greater lesson here is that perhaps there is a downside to hosting huge parties in your house where you allow anybody off the street to come onto your property and hang out.

Nels Eriksson

Mon, Jun 4, 2012 : 5:02 p.m.

That software is a good idea. Also, in student housing where there are multiple laptops belonging to multiple roommates, it's a good idea to use a laptop lock... they're not just for using on the go. When I leave home, I'll try to lock my computer to something sturdy, like the hanger bar in a closet.


Mon, Jun 4, 2012 : 4:57 p.m.

I would love to see the photo and the screenshots


Mon, Jun 4, 2012 : 4:29 p.m.

Yeah, who is the perp and where was he found?


Mon, Jun 4, 2012 : 10:29 p.m.

You have to ask?

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, Jun 4, 2012 : 4:04 p.m.

don't tease us and not publish a photo...


Mon, Jun 4, 2012 : 3:14 p.m.

Look up the Prey Project- a way to keep track of your own laptop for free (there is an optional paid service which I don't use). Takes a few minutes to setup, but then works flawlessly.


Mon, Jun 4, 2012 : 9:42 p.m.

A search query with my friend Google indicates this might be risky software. e.g.

Phil K.

Mon, Jun 4, 2012 : 5:17 p.m.

Beat me as well. I'm just glad that the Ann Arbor police were familiar enough with the type of software to act on the information.


Mon, Jun 4, 2012 : 5:01 p.m.

You beat me to it. ;-)