For once, it may have been fortunate that a laptop was stolen. When LSA senior and Michigan Daily staffer Logan Chadde and his housemate came home after a night out in Ann Arbor, they immediately saw the telltale signs of a burglary — his roommate’s door had a hole punched through and was forcibly unlocked. His roommate’s Xbox and iPod were missing and Chadde couldn’t find his computer.
No more than eight hours after Chadde saw that his house on Elm Street had been raided early Sunday morning, pictures of the potential culprit and his full name were in Chadde’s possession and on their way to the Ann Arbor Police Department, thanks to a safety feature Chadde had installed on his computer.
According to AnnArbor.com, the AAPD have arrested the 19-year-old male suspected of stealing the laptop. The man was identified thanks to an anti-theft program on Chadde’s computer.
Chadde said he spent about $50 a few years ago on a program made by Orbicule that can use a computer’s camera to take camera pictures and screen shots in the event the laptop is stolen.
Chadde said the software was “one of the best investments I’ve ever made” and estimated that the software may have saved him $1,000.
The trouble that may have led to the event started Saturday when Chadde and his roommate left for the night. A subletter of their house threw a party that spiraled out of control, Chadde explained.
“Apparently, he threw a wild party with tons of people he didn’t know and obviously we didn’t know either,” Chadde said. “Things just got out of hand.”
Chadde said they returned to their apartment at about 2:45 a.m. Sunday and instantly saw the damage to his roommate’s room. Chadde said he then checked his room, which is when he noticed his laptop and charger were amiss.
“We were kind of freaking out for a while,” Chadde said.
Two hours later, Chadde filed a police report and less than six hours after that, he already had photographic evidence to present to the police.
The software took a picture of the potential robber and e-mailed the photo to Chadde when the man used the computer’s guest account. In the screen shot, the alleged thief was chatting on Facebook about how he stole a laptop and planned to sell it.
“He had a chat box open to one of his friends, and I don’t remember the exact quote but it was something about, ‘Just came across this Mac. I’m going to sell it, then I’ll get you your hundred (dollars),’ ” Chadde said.
The picture evidence continued to get sent to Chadde with the software and, consequently, the police.
“Every eight minutes I was given a picture, and so the second picture was of the person on Facebook and he had chat open. I could see his full name,” Chadde said.
He said that with the help of friends, he was able to conduct more research online concerning the man. He added that he also found a Twitter account that matched the alleged culprit with tweets saying he had been in Ann Arbor Saturday evening.
This is a developing story. Check back at michigandaily.com for updates.