Stolen Macbook Pro Located w/ iCloud (Pictures!)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Luke 007, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. Luke 007, Jul 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012

    Luke 007 macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2012
    Hi everyone,

    My Macbook pro was stolen and I have iCloud activated on the computer. Fortunately, I can see the approximate location of my macbook because it frequently connects to the internet, and it has been in the same place for the entire period that it has been missing. I've attach some pics of the location, as you can see it is in San Diego east of the 15 and It's been a couple months now so it doesn’t seem to be moving. It's only about 20 minutes away form where I live. I first went to the police in the hopes that they could figure something out, because the issue is that although we can see about where the Macbook is, the approximate area includes about 2-4 duplexes. An officer actually went to the location and knocked on doors of the residences there and asked if they had a computer, and of course found nothing. I was flabbergasted when he told me this, and I am even more suprised that the people who have my computer didn't catch on to the fact that they are being traced because the computer still frequently connects to the internet. I understand that iCloud does not use GPS to locate, but rather IP address information, is that correct? I am trying to figure out a way to pinpoint the residence where my Macbook is by identifying the Internet network it is on and then identifying which residence owns that network. Do you guys have any idea how I can do this? My thoughts are that I can go to this area, check out what wifi networks are available and pinpoint the possible ones that my Macbook is connecting to iCloud through. Is there some way to see how many computers are connected to a wifi network at any given time? I ask because for example, if my stolen Macbook goes online and I can somehow see that there is only 1 computer accessing an unencrypted wifi in that area then I will have pinpointed the network it is using, which could potentially lead to identifying which residence it’s in if I can somehow match a network with one of these duplex residences. What are your guys thoughts on this? Is there another method I should use? Thanks in advance, I just really want to nail this guy and get my Macbook back!

    **I have removed the pics for security reasons.


    After doing a Kismac scan in the area I have narrowed it down to one unencrypted network that clearly shows my "Apple" macbook sending and receiving data on the network ID'd with my unique Airport MAC address and I.P. number. Detective is seeing what he can do with the I.P. now. I feel like we are very close to closing the case...yet so far away. We shall see what the future holds. ;)
  2. Feed Me macrumors 6502a

    Feed Me

    Jan 7, 2012
    Location Location
    Is iCloud's Find My Mac the only way you have of contacting your Mac? There isn't much you can do besides get a general idea of the Mac's location with it, along with lockdown features.

    Do you also have options to lock the Mac and to send a notification to the mac? These notifications always play at full volume on the stolen mac. Maybe tell police to enter the duplex again and get them to phone you, then hit the notification button so they know which apartment has the mac in it? :D

    Or you could go there yourself, trigger the notification from an iPhone, ascertain the flat number, and tell police?
  3. liya1201 macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2010
    Just have a thought:

    Have you checked the SD craigslist (or Ebay) to see if someone is selling a Macbook that matched your spec from that area? You might be able to contact or find that person through the email they provided in craigslist or Ebay...
  4. HighEndMac macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2011
    Ever use a hand-gun?... Get mid-evil bro!

    Na but they post above has the best idea w/ the alert feature. Cops will not be much help unless you have some major proof.
  5. BeeJee macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2011
    Long Island/North Jersey
    This is a great idea. Its a shame that there are so many dishonest thieves in the world today that take from others when they, themselves can't afford nice things
  6. Interstella5555, Jul 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012

    Interstella5555 macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008
    "A couple months" and you haven't been able to do anything about it? Give up the ghost, remote wipe it and move on.

    I'm also not sure that port sniffing in this situation would be legal.
  7. mac1984user macrumors 6502a


    Dec 10, 2009
    United Kingdom
    The bigger question is whether or not it's because of the great disparity between those who can afford a MBP and those who can't that they get stolen in the first place. OR, it's the work of an opportunistic idiot. One of the two!

    @Luke 007: Sorry to hear about your bad luck, and two months is a long time. It's really too bad that the police haven't been able to do much for you, despite their efforts. Has Apple had anything else to say? I know they're pretty much hands off this kind of thing and will only provide a serial number if you don't already have it. My supervisor's MBP got stolen recently (he had not activated Find My Mac) and Apple said there was nothing they could do beyond giving the serial number for the police to use. Fair enough. He got his back in the end, though. It might be 1984 all over again, but CCTV was his saviour in this case!
  8. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    For a start I would keep monitoring the exact location of the little dot, as it will probably move around a little bit even in the same house. This smaller movement circle should effectively give you an accurate search radius.
  9. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    I find it amazing that whoever stole it hasn't wiped it or reinstalled the OS or even created a new user thus negating find my Mac.
  10. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Jul 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    If the op password protected the boot loader that would be impossible without installing a new hdd.
  11. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    If you have back to my mac on, use that. See what files are on the machine, see if you can use that to trace the owner.
  12. leez macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2008
    The main question is: what's the Find My Mac feature for now ? Police can't do much about it, you can't do much about it (well, just looking at this dot on map at the moment)... is it only for wiping your data ? Alerting the thief, that he has a stolen MacBook (he already knows that :) ) ?

    You've got the area, Police got it - they should react. Not knocking at someones door and politely asking for a stolen notebook tho. They should investigate (IP's etc - what you've described above) and get a warrant to search the location(s). Simple for me.

    Good luck.
  13. Enjoi03 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2009
    Yeah, I'm sure a judge will give a warrant to search multiple houses for a notebook they think is in the general area of 4 duplexes...
  14. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    exactly what i was thinking. The police will do nothing more than what is given to them, and they won't bust their balls over a mac unless you know more precisely where it is.
  15. Interstella5555 macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008

    Good luck when the police are able to search your house with absolutely no justification for a warrant.
  16. leez macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2008
    And another thread about it:

    And come one people, some hope. It's stolen, it's (almost) tracked, better than nothing. Imagine yourself in such a situation, when you almost know where it is and you're trying to figure out what to do, when the Police can't do much.
  17. HighEndMac macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2011
    Hahaha i was thinking the same!
  18. tech37 macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2012
    See if you can get more details from iCloud support, like the IP address being used on the stolen Macbook to track it. I'm pretty sure there would be a record of it somewhere logged with iCloud for a period of time. That leads to the internet provider being used and they should have the contact information or credit card/bank that was used to pay which gives an ID of the person who using it to the police. Hopefully you'll get some cooperation from different companies. If you tracked it then its possible to find out who did it. Good Luck.
  19. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    At this point I would suggest damage control. The their has access to everything in your computer. I would just cut my losses and Remote Wipe.

    It is hard to say it, but if the cop went to the housing area and found nothing, there is little you can do. You could ask a judge for a search warrant, but it will be *very* unlikely you'll get one just for a computer.
  20. bigjim83 macrumors 6502

    Dec 14, 2011
    It would be awesome if some how you could activate the webcam and see whose using it.
  21. xfs macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Tried getting Apple involved in it and requesting to get the IP? If they refuse, you can always try to file a case and get a sub-peona to get the IP. I am sorry you are in this situation.
  22. NMF macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2011
    Well, this thread has inspired me to make sure "back to my Mac" is enabled (I wasn't using it previously). If this ever happens to me I'll remote login at 3:00 AM one night and snoop around the web history until I find some sensitive information.

    Sorry to hear about your situation though, OP. I hope you find a way to get your machine back. :(
  23. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    Yea neither of those is going to happen.
  24. ITGuy macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2005
    Apple should fix Find My Mac, Find My iPhone, Find My iPad, etc. so it displays the IP address of the lost or stolen device. This will allow users in the OP's situation to provide law enforcement with the necessary information to recover stolen equipment. Without it, Find My Mac isn't really effective, as the OP has discovered.

    Send Apple feedback at

Share This Page