Catching laptop and phone thieves with Prey

Yesterday I read a Facebook post from an associate saying that on Monday his laptop had been stolen and on Friday he had it back thanks to a free software application called Prey and quick action by Police who had a fairly easy job to do.

A lot of the time theft becomes just an insurance claim, but how often do we read stories like “priceless wedding, trip or family photos that aren’t backed up”; and “left my phone in a taxi and they say they haven’t got it.” Technology is easy to replace and the paperwork and case files mean Police don’t have the resources to try to solve every theft crime.

There is also the issue of having to prove the device is in fact stolen, so how about the ability to send a message to the device screen that locks on a message like “This device has been stolen from xxx, please contact via this email address to arrange it’s return.” It also provides the ability to remotely wipe the device, the same as Where’s my iPhone and similar apps.

This free app (which also offers premium services), allows you to monitor the location of up to 3 devices. Any more you have to pay for, but they have to make money too right?

PreySo the app search report not only told him where his laptop was, but also photos of the people using it (as they were preparing to sell it), It also provided details of their email, their Facebook and Trade Me details, lots of photos of their home and of course most importantly, their address.

They met the Police at the location where the laptop was recovered intact and arrests were made. Someone else responded to the Facebook post with a similar story, which confirms what I have frequently said They lost their iPad but were able to provide similar details to the Police who also found lots of cash, marijuana and methamphetamine on the premises of the lowlifes who stole it.

So instead of putting more time into my blog this morning before work, I installed Prey on my laptop. They also support Android, iOS and Linux, so I will be installing it on my iPhone and iPads as well. Yes there are lots of similar apps, although this has some nice added value features.

I don’t usually promote products on this blog, but in this case, with the recommendation and having now installed it myself, I’m keen to share it with you. The installation took around 3 minutes, so don’t say you wish you had time,

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About Luigi Cappel

Writer for hire, marketing consultant specialising in Location Based Services. Futurist and Public Speaker Auckland, New Zealand
This entry was posted in Crime, Crime Prevention, cybercrime, Police, theft, track crime and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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