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A MacBook theft story with a happy ending

What would you do if your MacBook was stolen? Joshua Kaufman posted photos of the alleged thief to a Tumblr blog with the help of Hidden, an app that snapped spy pics remotely.

The alleged thief, behind the wheel. This Guy Has My Macbook

What would you do if your MacBook was stolen? Joshua Kaufman of Oakland, Calif., started a Tumblr blog about it after his MacBook was swiped back in March. He says, via the site This Guy Has My Macbook:

On March 21, 2011, my MacBook was stolen from my apartment in Oakland, CA. I reported the crime to the police and even told them where it was, but they couldn't help me due to lack of resources. Meanwhile, I'm using the awesome app, Hidden, to capture these photos of this guy who has my MacBook.

Kaufman posted photos the stolen laptop was able to snap remotely, showing the alleged thief using the MacBook in bed, in a car, and at other locations. The blog became a viral Internet hit, and thanks to the media attention it generated, local police were prompted to take action after Kaufman had gathered enough information about the suspect.

The Tumblr blog was updated last night with the following information:

Update: (May 31, 8:37 PM PST) ARRESTED! An Oakland police officer just called me to let me know that they arrested the guy in my photos! BOOYA! The police used my evidence (email which pointed to a cab service) that he was a driver and tricked him into picking them up. Nice work OPD!

This isn't the first time social media has been called into play to find a laptop thief. In May, we heard about a similar case where a stolen MacBook was recovered after its location was shared via Twitter.

Of course, these happy endings are the exception rather than the rule. Laptops are still high-value targets for thieves, and you should always exercise care when out and about with your portable gadgets.