LEICESTER (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – Putting their best face forward for a hidden camera, alleged thieves swipe a laptop and other expensive items from a home on Marshall Street in Leicester; however, the victims are fighting back by using basic technology to keep tabs on the suspects.
Thieves broke into the Thabets home on Tuesday and stole thousands of dollars of electronics, including an expensive MacBook, but little did those thieves know that the Thabets had software installed on their computers that might bring them down.
Thabet, an EMT, used software readily available to the public to track a person-of-interest right to his doorstep. Using the application that he had installed on his iPad, Thabet was able to locate his wife's stolen MacBook.
While police were investigating at his home, a message popped up on his laptop that the stolen MacBook was online.
"They actually logged on. So I connected to that computer, her laptop, and I turned their camera on in that laptop," Thabet told FOX 25's Heather Hegedus.
Using Apple's video chat application FaceTime, Thabet and police were able to bring up a live stream of a man in a car, holding the stolen MacBook without that man even knowing.
Using another application called Find My iPhone, police were able to track the computer right to a residence in Worcester. Police believe the resident was the man from the car.
Thabet wants other homeowners to know that anyone can set up these same programs. The software only cost a couple of dollars, but was definitely worth the investment.
The remote access program Thabet was using is called Splash Stop, but he recommends a free version called Prey which has the capability to delete files remotely.
Police have not yet arrested the person of interest in Worcester and are looking to identify a second man who was seated in the backseat of the car.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact the Leicester Police Department at 508-892-7010.