Raleigh man uses GPS tracker to locate man who stole his laptop

Computer was gift; police given location

ajames@newsobserver.comSeptember 27, 2012 

— The thief didn’t know who he was stealing from when he broke into Jonathan Moss’ home and took his new MacBook Air.

Moss, who works as an IT specialist, had never used GPS tracking software before, but downloaded it on his new laptop on a whim before he left the country.

“My wife gave me the MacBook Air as a wedding gift,” Moss said.

While still on his honeymoon, Moss got an e-mail from his landlord. It appeared that his house had been burglarized.

That’s when he took matters into his own hands and tracked down his stolen laptop, using his iPad from his hotel on the small island of Aruba.

Prey software, available in both Mac or PC versions, is a web service that’s free for the first three items a user registers.

The software can detect the wireless network closest to the registered device, even if the user is not signed onto that network. Prey also uses webcam technology, if available, to capture images of the device’s location.

So, not only was Moss able to track down the location of his laptop, he was able to see photos taken every five minutes of a man using it, and the inside of the man’s home.

Moss went to the police in Aruba and they contacted Raleigh police with the information Moss supplied: the location of his laptop; photos of the suspect using the laptop; and the e-mail address the man was using.

Johnny Howard Fogg Jr., 29, was arrested Tuesday at his residence, 2221 Milburnie Road, and charged with felony possession of stolen property in connection with the case. His bail has been set at $3,000.

Investigators obtained a warrant to search Fogg’s residence, but did not find any of the other items stolen from Moss’ home.

“It’s an interesting way to start a marriage,” Moss said.

James: 919-829-4870

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