When Boston graphic designer Fran Harrington had his third computer stolen from his apartment, he didn't get even. Instead, he bought the teen found using it a new computer.
In an interview with CBS News affilate WBZ-TV, Harrington explained that he caught the teen using security software that allowed him to track activity on the Macbook Pro.
“I watched for about four days," he said, explaining that he found the computer being used at the home of a family in the South End’s Cathedral Public Housing Complex. "I was giving information to police, and the whole time he didn’t know this was going on at all, that I could see what he was doing," Harrington added.
It turns out that the teen also didn't know that the computer he was using was stolen.
"I found out it was bought by a family living in the projects, and that they had no idea they were buying a stolen computer," Harrington told the news channel. The family had purchased the computer for their son who was heading off to college.
Instead of pursuing legal action against the teen, Harrington took to fundraising site Indiegogo to help raise money to purchase the family a new computer. As of Thursday he had surpassed his $900 fundraising goal.
Last year, an Oakland, Calif., man used a similar tracking software to locate his stolen computer, posting updates and "mugshots" on a Tumblr he'd set up called "This Guy Has My MacBook." In a not-so-happy ending, the thief was later arrested by the police.