Everyone hates a thief — especially when they strike close to home. Our personal devices like smartphones and notebooks are often targets for criminals, and one Canadian man found this out the hard way.
Stu Gale, who just so happens to be a computer security expert, had the misfortune of having his laptop stolen from his car overnight. However, Gale did have remote software installed on the device which allowed him to track whenever it came online. So, he was quite delighted to see that a notification popped up on one of his other machines alerting him that his stolen laptop was active.
Gale took the opportunity to remote into the laptop, only to find that the not-too-bright thief was using his laptop to login to her Facebook account. The thief eventually left her Facebook account open and left the room, after which Gale had the opportunity to snoop through her profile and obtain all of her private information.
“I went through and got her phone numbers, friends list and pictures, and while I was doing that, two (chat) conversations started,” Gale recalled. “I called one of them and told her (the thief) was on a stolen laptop and told her I’d give her the opportunity to return it.”
Once the thief returned to the computer, it was then she realized that the rightful owner was on to her (the note that he left addressed to her also probably had something to do with it). Given that Gale was able to see her phone numbers listed on Facebook, he sent text messages to all of those numbers saying that he was going to report her to the police. He also posted her info to a number of Facebook groups, which spooked the thief enough to not only delete her Facebook account, but also her listed phone numbers.
Needless to say, Gale probably won’t be leaving his car unlocked again — especially with high-priced items in plain view of thieves. As for his laptop, he doesn’t expect to lay hands on it ever again, but unleashing a little bit of internet justice on the thief was more than a bit cathartic.