Updated: 03/06/11 : 08:20:34
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Internet :: Software And Twitter Trace Stolen Laptop

A theft-tracking computer programme has helped a man in America trace his laptop after it was stolen.

Once the software, called Hidden, is activated it can send the owner photos of people using the device as well as screen shots of the computer.

Joshua Kaufman had downloaded the software shortly before his flat was burgled on March 21 and his Macbook was stolen.

He reported the crime and began to use the programme to collect photos and location information about the whereabouts of his laptop.

However, when police did not get back to him, he decided to try and get their attention in a different way.

Mr Kaufman set up a blog called This Guy Has My Macbook and tweeted about his stolen computer, which then caught the attention of news programmes in America.

When the police were contacted by journalists, they got in touch with Mr Kaufman and promised to follow up the theft.

"From that point on, they seemed to be on my side completely," Mr Kaufman said.

Police blamed the fact they had not pursued the complaint before on the large volume of thefts which are reported to the department - as many as 2,400 every month.

Some of the photos showed a man accessing his own email account, others showed him asleep on a sofa and some saw him propped up against his pillows in bed.

One of the pictures showed a message which appeared to include the name of a business.

Kaufman searched the internet and found it was a nearby taxi company, which he assumed was the man's workplace.

On May 31, police ordered a taxi from the company and arrested 27-year-old driver Muthanna Aldebashi.

They said they did not know if he was also the person who burgled Kaufman's flat.