Using a data backup program helps recover lost data but can also help get a stolen laptop back--if you're lucky.
A Berkeley, Calif., man recently recovered his stolen laptop after
seeing photos the thief took of himself with the built-in camera via
his Internet-based data backup program.
That's according to a police officer's article in an e-mail newsletter from Berkeley City Councilmember Susan Wengraf that was posted to the Web by open-source advocate Bruce Perens.
It all started on May 5, when the victim left his laptop in the back
seat of his car (tsk tsk). Two hours later, the thief smashed the car
window and grabbed the computer. It's not clear what else was done with
the laptop, but the big break in the case came when the laptop owner
later spotted the self-portrait photos of the thief on the storage
service Web site.
Detectives working the case were shown the photos and recognized the
man, who had been released from jail earlier in the year. They noticed
that in the photos he appeared to be in a motel room and began trying
to track down the IP address used by the laptop hoping that it would
lead to the motel.
Before that could be accomplished, however, the detectives spotted the
man getting into a car in a motel parking lot in Oakland and arrested
him. In his car and the motel room they found the laptop along with
stolen property from other auto burglaries.