GadgetTrak Blog


GadgetTrak Recovery: Pilfered in Portlandia
Saturday, June 4, 2011


In October 2010, somebody smashed the front window of Nancy Wiebelhaus’s home in Portland, Oregon, and ran off with three laptops: two MacBooks and a MacBook Pro.

One of the MacBooks was running GadgetTrak. “I bought it because the same thing happened a couple of years ago when we had three laptops stolen. These kinds of property crimes are really, really common in my neighborhood,” says Wiebelhaus, an eighth-grade language arts teacher.

Once activated, GadgetTrak begins tracking location and network information whenever the stolen laptop connects to the Internet. It also captures photos of the person using the device, and sends them to the computer’s owner.

“Over the course of a week or two, I got three videos of people who had my laptop,” says Wiebelhaus. GadgetTrak also sent her an IP address that the suspects were using to go online.

She forwarded the information to Portland Police Department, which subpoenaed the Internet service provider. The ISP identified the customer who had been assigned that particular IP address.

The detective on the case immediately recognized the name of the customer. The suspect was already in jail, having been arrested recently on another crime.

The defendant, Tracy Miller, 48, ended up pleading “no contest” to the burglary. He was sentence to an additional 31 months in prison.

“The software helped in catching the person who broke into my house,” says Wiebelhaus.

Miller reportedly told police that he had traded one of the MacBooks to his dealer for drugs. The whereabouts of the other two laptops is unknown.

( Content from Jeff Bertolucci, PCWorld )

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