An Amazing Laptop Recovery Story

A true story about sex, computers, the Internet, spying, theft, intrigue, and the police

By Todd R. Weiss, PC World |  Hardware, laptop, remote access

A Barbershop Visit Turned His Weekend Upside Down

The man who bought the stolen Toshiba laptop says that he was just minding his own business when another man walked into the barbershop and offered him a nice deal on a notebook PC. "This guy comes in and he said, 'Hey, what's up? I've got two laptop computers to sell.'"

The buyer already had a PC; but it was infected with viruses, and fixing it would have cost $150. "So instead of paying $150 to get my viruses fixed, I thought I'd buy this one for $300."

Later that weekend, the police arrived at the buyer's home, looking for two stolen laptops. "Two days later, I'm sitting in my crib and the police bang on the door," he says. "They sat me down and said 'We need the laptops.'"

Did the buyer know that the Toshiba laptop was stolen when he bought it? "I didn't care whether it was stolen," he says. "I buy stolen stuff all the time. I don't care... If I can save $600, I'll do it." But now knowing that a laptop can be tracked online, he says he won't be buying any more computers off the streets.

Krop has learned his lesson, too. "I've learned to always, always, always take my laptops with me and to never leave them in the car, even if it's for just a few minutes," he says. "And generally I don't take two laptops with me anymore. I take just one. And I also learned to use log-in passwords on computers"--to protect his data--and to equip his laptops with remote tracking software.

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