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Posted on Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 1:08 p.m.

Police use Craigslist to recover U-M faculty member's stolen laptop

By John Counts


The chemistry building where a laptop was reported stolen Monday.

Courtesy of the University of Michigan

A 49-year-old man was arrested in Ypsilanti Monday night after he was accused of stealing a University of Michigan faculty member's laptop and hard drive and trying to sell it on Craigslist.

The theft was reported from a room on the third-floor of the chemistry building at 3:07 p.m., U-M police said. A 40-year-old man who is a member of the chemistry faculty said his laptop and hard drive were taken between 2:30 and 3 p.m.

After reporting it to the police, the faculty member went on Craigslist and found a post advertising what he believed to be his stolen computer equipment for sale. He informed U-M police about it.

"Our officers arranged to buy back the laptop at a location in Ypsilanti," said U-M police spokeswoman Diane Brown.

Police met the 49-year-old Ypsilanti man at Michigan Avenue and North Harris Street at 10:29 p.m. Monday and recovered the stolen laptop and hard drive. The man was also accused of resisting arrest, police said.

Charges of larceny in a building, receiving and concealing stolen goods and two counts of resisting, assaulting or obstructing a police officer have been authorized, Brown said.

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


Mulberry Bank

Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 11:28 p.m.

Sharp cops. Well done! ...Do a lot of people do business at 10:29 p.m?


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 1:09 p.m.

Anyone else disturbed that the guy basically had to do his own investigating for the police department?


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 11:39 a.m.

Stupid is as stupid does.

Tom Joad

Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 8:18 p.m.

Be extremely wary buying any laptop on craigslist that doesn't come with a receipt, all the original accessories, and perhaps the original box. With sophisticated Lojack-type tracking software you don't want the police knocking on your door. I'll wager to be it was a Macbook Pro. Most Apple products are overpriced on craigslist. You can look up the blue-book value on mac2sell. It will give you the current value you should pay for a used Apple. If the price is ridiculously lower than what mac2sell says good indicator of it being stolen.


Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.

Clever thieves sell things outside the area they stole from, but it is hard to make a lot of money selling stolen property via Craigslist. Here's an interesting story on the stolen bicycle market


Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 6:13 p.m.

Good job getting the laptop back AND taking a thief off the streets. No more future victims for that guy.


Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 9:51 p.m.

as stupid as he was, he was bound to be captured sooner or later. He practically gave himself up to police with that craigslist ad. Better sooner than later, though.


Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 5:51 p.m.

Plenty of law-abiders use craigslist, too. Those who need iguanas in volume find it a godsend.

Richard Carter

Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 7:41 p.m.

"Need iguanas in volume" is a phrase I never thought I'd hear in my life.


Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 5:30 p.m.

People do some pretty things with Craigslist.Under the wanted list I've seen people wanting to buy weed and vicodin


Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 6:12 p.m.

Or you've seen vice wanting to "buy" weed and vicodin....