Posted by Waikato Police on 19/02/2014
Waikato Police are encouraging computer and vehicle owners to consider purchasing reputable tracking software after the successful apprehension of a thief on Monday.
District Prevention Manager, Inspector Rob Lindsay, said Police became aware of an incident when an off-duty officer phoned the District Command Centre (DCC) to advise that he and a victim were tracking a just stolen laptop computer.
"Our staff member told us that an hour before he had called in to see his wife who was working at a local supermarket on Clarence St when she told him a sales rep had just had his laptop stolen.
"Using software loaded into the laptop the rep was able to track it via GPS to the corner of Anglesea and Caro Streets. While speaking to the DCC on the phone the off-duty officer described the laptop moving slowly down the road so the shift manager in the DCC started radioing up Police units in the area to respond."
Mr Lindsay said the off-duty officer had the sales rep with him and the man identified the thief he had seen on CCTV footage as a person waiting at a bus stop.
"Arriving officers approached the man at the bus stop and found him in possession of a laptop, from there the sales rep was called in and asked to use his password to unlock the device to establish if it was his or not and when this was done the 42-year-old man was arrested for theft.
"Once again we have an example of how technology can be used to prevent crime. It's not just computers that can be protected by such devices too, last year we had three examples of vehicles being stolen and traced including a glazier's van which was recovered in Melville complete with all the victim's work tools."
Mr Lindsay said Police encouraged people to utilise all the methods available through technology to protect themselves and their property.
"Another really effective, cost free prevention tool is recording serial numbers and images of your valuables on the Operation SNAP (www.snap.org.nz/) database.
"This only takes a few moments of your time but is a really effective way of deterring thieves from targeting your property or, if it is stolen, helping Police prove a recovered item is stolen and who it belongs to."