Stolen computers

Discussion of general issues, not related to a specific Mac or iDevice operating system.
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Jay Cline
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Stolen computers

Post by Jay Cline » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:03 am

Bill Jevne reports Five Acre School near Sequim was broken into Saturday night and 2 newer iMacs were stolen. Please call Bill if you hear of any shady deals going on.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Stolen computers

Post by Stephen Hart » Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:07 pm

How sad. I hope they get some interest from the police. Likely the iMacs are out of the state by now.
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Richard Serkes
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Re: Stolen computers

Post by Richard Serkes » Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:05 pm

It's too late now, but if they had purchased and installed a program called Undercover the iMacs could be registred as stolen and whenever they were connected to the I'Net the local police would be faxed the exact IP Address of the iMac as well as photos of the person sitting in front of it using the built in iSight camera. With the IP address the cops can find out who is using that IP account and knock on the door. If the Apple product that is stolen has built in GPS the the police are given latitude and longitude of the device as well as photos.

I have Undercover on all my iThings.
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rickj
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Re: Stolen computers

Post by rickj » Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:13 pm

Richard Serkes wrote:I have Undercover on all my iThings.
Too much information :o
Rick

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Richard Serkes
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Re: Stolen computers

Post by Richard Serkes » Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:20 pm

rickj wrote:
Richard Serkes wrote:I have Undercover on all my iThings.
Too much information :o
Aren't we lucky the program isn't called Commando.

:oops:
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Stolen computers

Post by Stephen Hart » Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:21 pm

It was many years ago, but when we lost a whole desk full of Macs and peripherals in a house break in, the sheriff took some interest, took fingerprints, etc. Then everyone lost interest. Our insurance paid immediately, telling us there was so little chance of recovery, they always paid immediately for computers. (If the computers were ever recovered, we would have the option to buy them back at a large discount.)
My PowerBook had Open Firmware Password installed, and a week or so after the theft, I got a call from a computer store where some teenager was trying to sell my PowerBook. I contacted our sheriff's office and told the store clerk to contact their local police. Nothing ever came of that. No one seemed to care.

I expect that any sophisticated thieves would erase and install, or even replace the hard drive as step 1. If it's just some stupid teenagers, Undercover might uncover them, or not.

The lessons here are: 1. have insurance 2. backup 3. backup more.
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Richard Serkes
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Re: Stolen computers

Post by Richard Serkes » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:17 am

Undercover recommends using a firmware password which will thwart any attempt to reload the OS with a new Admin password. But removing and replacing the hard drive can't be stopped. However, how many petty thieves are going to all that trouble? If they can't sell it they'll dump it.

The thieves who take a Mac for their own use will get caught by Undercover. Whether or not the local law enforcement people do anything is another story. And please don't interpret that comment as a slam on the police. They have too much work and too few officers so spending time recovering a stolen laptop or desktop just can't be a high priority task for them.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Stolen computers

Post by Stephen Hart » Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:16 am

Richard Serkes wrote:And please don't interpret that comment as a slam on the police. They have too much work and too few officers so spending time recovering a stolen laptop or desktop just can't be a high priority task for them.
I second that. My comment also wasn't meant to say anything negative about the California local police involved or our sheriff's office.
The fact is that a crime that can be very upsetting, frightening, inconvenient and even financially devastating is small potatoes compared to all the other stuff police have to cope with.

BTW, OFP can also be overcome by merely changing RAM, I believe. It's not a panacea, but, like other software fixes, a deterrent for the casual thief and an aid to good samaritans.
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