When U.K. resident Dom Del Torto's laptop was stolen from his apartment in February, he could never have anticipated where it would end up just one month later.
In March, Del Torto used the tracking software Hidden App to locate his computer, and found that the Mac had ended up in Tehran, Iran. The app even allowed Del Torto to see the laptop's new owners, as it can take pictures of the person using the computer and screengrabs of what they're doing online.
Even with the photos, there was little the U.K. police could do for Del Torto, as the computer was now far outside their jurisdiction. For fun, Del Torto started a Tumblr called "Dom's laptop is in Iran" to showcase the photos he was taking.
Del Torto watched his laptop's new owners lives from afar. He saw them play Jenga, eat, and listen to music. They had no idea someone was watching them every time they opened their new laptop.
But once Del Torto's blog made the rounds online, he was contacted by the people in the photos. They were not the ones who had stolen the laptop and they were upset to find photos of themselves all over the Internet. On Friday morning, Del Torto issued the following statement on his blog:
The innocent new owners of my laptop have been in touch and are mortified about the story and are keen to return the laptop.
Given the huge error of judgement on my part in sharing the story and failing to respect their privacy I have asked them to keep it by means of an apology.
Del Torto has removed all photos of the laptop owners and all previous posts from his blog. Exactly how the laptop wound up halfway across the world is unclear.
This isn't the first time a stolen laptop has ended up in the hands of innocent new owners. In August of 2012, a Boston man used tracking software to discover his stolen laptop was in the hands of a teenager whose parents had bought it for him, not knowing it had been stolen. Rather than attempt to punish the boy and his family, the man started an online fund to buy the teen a laptop of his own.