Huffpost Technology

Sean Power Tracks Down Stolen Laptop Using Twitter, Prey From Hundreds Of Miles Away

Posted: Updated:

Twitter: now helping you track down your stolen laptop.

Read on for the incredible true story of the man who managed to get back his stolen laptop--while hundreds of miles away in Canada.

Sean Power, using Prey, a free tracking program, tracked down his laptop to a bar in Brooklyn, where he saw that a man, Skype alias "Paolo Votano" was using his computer to browse the web and call friends. Power, however, was in Canada. Enter Twitter.

"Prey sent me a report & pic of a guy playing with my stolen laptop. What should I do? http://awe.sm/5J8hu," Power tweeted.

Soon enough, the Twitter world jumped in to help. They discovered that the man was in fact a part owner of the bar. One woman even went down to the bar herself to check out the situation.

"I am sure we can virtually arrange a geek squad intervention to go reclaim your gear. You need help rounding up a posse?" tweeted pfasano.

Power called the police instead. But they told him that they couldn't do anything unless he filed a report in person. Meanwhile, Power was able to get pictures of the man's face, his Gmail account, and his Chase bank account. He directed his followers not to get too involved.

"please please please don't get directly involved. I don't want any of you to get hurt for a stupid laptop," he tweeted.

But the girl at the bar decided to go:

"Apparently, the girl that went there has befriended two of the bartenders and is doing shots with them. Wow," Power tweeted.

Power called "Paolo." A long Twitter silence ensued during which followers wondered whether Power was pulling a viral stunt for Prey (he said he was not). Finally, the story came to an end:

"So .. Paolo freely gave it up. I'm not about to accuse anyone of anything. I'd rather forget that that place exists and just move on," Power tweeted (a friend of his went to go get the laptop). "But yes, Internet - I'm about 800km away, and I got my stolen laptop back."

Around the Web

Man tracks stolen laptop hundreds of miles away, calls thief ...

One Man, One Stolen Laptop... And Twitter, Prey (And A Purple Sarong?) To The ...

How (And Why) A Pack Of Twitter Vigilantes Recovered A Stranger's Stolen Laptop

Man Recovers Stolen MacBook Thousands of Miles Away, Here's How To Recover Yours

MORNING BREW: Ottawa man virtually retrieves laptop; Metallica concert ...

From Our Partners