Laptop Thief Tracked With ‘Hidden’ Software

Last week in Oakland, an expensive MacBook was stolen from the home of Joshua Kaufman, a designer. When the police ranked the theft as low priority, Mr. Kaufman believed his laptop would never be recovered. However, he soon remembered the ‘Hidden’ software which he had installed on his laptop.


With the help of the software, Mr. Kaufman was able to photograph the thief through his computer without his knowledge. Images show the thief in his car, in his bed, and in various other places. Location information provided by Hidden also helped the police track the thief down and identify him as a cab driver.

According to Mr. Kaufman, he remembered the software and began using it on Monday, March 21st. “The following Thursday I started getting images and location information. I was amazed,” he said. “I was like, this thing actually works!”

This Guy Has My MacBook

Kaufman had some trouble convincing the police to retrieve his computer. Despite the fact that he had located it  and the thief, police claimed that their resources were limited and therefore unable to follow up on the theft. Kaufman then started a blog entitled “This Guy Has My MacBook” which gathered thousands of followers. The police were then forced to come back to the case.

Kaufman said “I was excited, honestly- it feels like the power of the Internet is on my side.” Of the police he said “They said ‘we’re really sorry you fell through the cracks.”

Once the thief was arrested, Kaufman tweeted: “This just in: MacBook acquired by the OPD! The officer was so kind on the phone: ‘It’s these kinds of partnerships that make things happen.'”

Here are two of the photos Mr. Kaufman took with the software:

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