Stolen laptop with software that snapped thief's picture returned to rightful owner
When Logan Chadde got his stolen laptop back, the suspected thief’s fingerprints were all over the evidence.
Chadde said Ann Arbor police returned the laptop to him Tuesday afternoon and it seemed to be in fine shape, save for the fingerprints that were smeared all over the screen after it was stolen.
Detective Dave Monroe, who is the lead investigator for the Ann Arbor police on the case, told Chadde the laptop was found at an apartment in Ypsilanti.
The laptop originally was stolen sometime between 10:45 p.m. Saturday and 2:45 a.m. Sunday from Chadde's home in the 500 block of Elm Street.
But Chadde’s Orbicule software snapped a picture of the suspect, then took a screenshot of the man while he was Facebook chatting to another person about his intentions to sell the laptop - and the device’s location.
“I still can’t believe my laptop was recovered within 48 hours,” Chadde said. “I give the police a lot of credit for acting quickly on the information I was able to provide.”
The laptop wasn’t the only item stolen — it was in a backpack, and Chadde’s roommate had baseball hats, video games, checks and office equipment stolen from his room. To this point, none of those items have made their way back into the proper owners’ hands, Chadde said.
So far, the 19-year-old man arrested in the case hasn’t been arraigned on criminal charges, according to court records.
Chadde explained he went on a website set up by the software to report the laptop stolen. When the thief logged onto a “Guest” account, the laptop automatically took a photo of him, a screenshot of what he was doing and the laptop’s location, sending it by email to Chadde, who then sent all that information to police, he said.
Police went to the apartment and made the arrest.
Chadde said the attention the story has been getting from national news sources “has been a little surreal,” but he’s hopeful that something positive can come from his experience.
“It’s a positive thing, though, if more people can learn about the anti-theft tools available to them,” he said.
“It’d be cool if the University (of Michigan) helped students learn about this technology,” he added.