Help me catch a MacBook thief?!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by audiofriction, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. audiofriction macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2009
    So my place was burglarized, and my 2 roommates' MacBooks were taken. for reasons I won't go into right now, we are certain that we know who (some of) the thieves are. And these people live ON OUR BLOCK. So I am wondering if we can determine if the computers are still with them.

    1. Their apartment is about 5-6 buildings down from ours. Probably out of wifi range, I assume.
    2. Roommates did not know the MAC addresses of their computers. (is there a way to find this out now? logs or something?)
    3. The thieves are almost certainly NOT tech-savvy or professional.
    4. No, they didn't have anti-theft software.

    So I put it to you: Is there a way we can figure out if one or both of the computers are there? Or at least still in use in our area?

    Please help! Thanks in advance!
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    If they still have the original boxes then it's on a sticker on the outside...
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    They've filed a police report by now, right?

    If you're "certain" of those who did it and can provide compelling reasons to the authorities, you might be able to have the police obtain a warrant to search their apartment.
  4. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    Ditto, it's your best bet. If you have another laptop you can take near the home in question you can see if they have wireless hooked up possibly without encryption. Then if the machines had sharing enabled you may be able to access something on their or at least see the name of the computer. That's a long shot though. Hopefully the machines were password protected.
  5. jarjarblinks macrumors 6502


    Nov 15, 2008
    Too many what if's.

    Chances are, if you know who did it, they will suspect it likewise. Don't sit around hatching a plot. Report it to the Police. Chances are they are thinking of getting rid of it fast for a quick buck.
  6. audiofriction thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2009
    Of course, i've already contacted the police. but we have no hard evidence it's these-- just lots of circumstantial and lots of tips from people in the neighborhood.

    so this would be another bit of "soft" evidence... and it would reassure me that the laptops haven't been sold off yet. and it's an interesting geeky thing to think about too.

    hmm, if my network was close to the computer, it would log onto it automatically, right... and then i would see new MAC addresses in my log. so i could either use some kind of repeater, or maybe spoof my own network from a laptop in a car outside their place. theoretically.

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