January 19, 2012
Stolen Apple MacBook Sends Photo of Suspected Burglars, but Suspects not Identified Yet
Here’s another tale from the place where modern technology and home security meet. In Bucktown, a Chicago, Illinois neighborhood, intruders stole a batch of technology items – standard fare for burglars, since they can easily turn these items into cash. But once again, it appears the bad guys were not counting on built-in high tech features to enter the picture – literally.
Theresa Unkrur's daughter was on her iPhone checking her Facebook page when she spotted a new photo posted from her MacBook. Her stolen MacBook. The computer was taken in a break-in last week, and days later the new photo showed up on Facebook showing two guys sitting on a couch and smiling into the laptop's camera.
Apps Are the Norm These Days
A thief or thieves broke into the Unkrurs' Bucktown home last Wednesday, four days before Christmas, and took computers, an iPhone and a PlayStation 3. The family filed a report with police, then contacted authorities again after the photo popped up Monday evening. Unkrur, an attorney, says she doesn't know the guys shown in the picture when the camera snapped and — thanks to an app — automatically posted the photo to Facebook. Unkrur said her daughter quickly realized that she hadn't taken the photo and that it came from an app on her MacBook.
Family Takes Matters into Their Own Hands
The family figures that if police can identify the young men in the picture, that could help them track down who took the electronics. A Chicago police spokesman declined to comment on the photo, and police were not releasing the picture as of Tuesday evening. Meanwhile, members of Unkrur's family were showing the photo on Facebook and asking visitors whether they recognized the two. They even showed the photo in the neighborhood, but so far have gotten only vague leads.
Intruders May be Largely Young, but not Necessarily Tech-Savvy
Unkrur said she was told by police that they got some "good fingerprints" from a wall-mounted television the thieves tried to take. Crime experts say Unkrur's case is an extreme example of how technology can potentially aid in solving crimes. According to James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Boston, criminals aren't always savvy when it comes to technology, and tend to underestimate how they can be detected electronically. Fox cited conventional ways that technology is fighting crime, including surveillance cameras, car alarms and home security systems.
Another Similar Case was Solved
Fox had never heard of a case quite like the Unkrurs'. Yet a reminiscent case occurred in August in the Chicago area. A laptop was stolen from a home in west suburban Riverside, and when it was recovered a few days later at an electronics store, a photographic self-portrait of the suspected burglar was found on it. Police went public with the photo, quickly identified a suspect and ultimately arrested him.
Victims Still Feeling the Effects
Theresa Unkrur said the break-in has left her family feeling exposed and violated. "It's a terrible feeling just knowing someone was in here … that they could have hurt the dogs," Unkrur said. "It's very unsettling." "I'm afraid," she added. "I just don't know what their (burglars') states of mind are … if they are onto the fact that we are onto them."
Of course, with a burglary happening every 14 seconds in the US, the best deterrent to burglary is a monitored home alarm system – especially one with safer cellular monitoring and smarter interactive features. As the leader in wireless home security, FrontPoint specializes in the best protection. That’s why we’re the #1 ranked alarm company in the US: safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat. And when technology works to the victim’s benefit, that’s even better!