By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It started when a burglar broke into a house and stole a laptop computer. It ended when a candid camera led to an arrest. 3-On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan shows us how one savvy man used technology to get his stuff back and how you can too.

Joshua Kaufman has his laptop back and some surprisingly intimate, close-up pictures of the man police arrested in connection with its theft. Kaufman says, “Shortly after it was stolen, I realized, I had this software that I could turn on.”

After his computer was stolen Kaufman remotely activated a software program on the laptop called “Hidden”. It took pictures of the alleged thief while he was sleeping on a couch, sitting in bed, and using the stolen computer. Kaufman says, “I was seeing someone looking at my account, deleting my account, logging into a Gmail, watching YouTube videos.”

Kaufman used the pictures, captured screens, and location maps to set up a blog in an effort to enlist others in helping him get the laptop back. He says, “A lot of people were entertained by the photos, thought it was funny. A lot of people were just cheering me on, they wanted some action to happen. They wanted the police to do something about it.”

Eventually they did. Police used information gathered by the laptop to close in on the culprit and get the computer back. Kaufman says, “I think people were surprised, and amazed that software like this existed, a lot of people don’t know that it’s out there and available.”

Again, the software that Kaufman used is called “Hidden”. It costs $15 for an annual subscription for one iMac or Macbook. Discounts for multiple computers are available too.

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Reported by Jim Donovan, CBS 3

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