Reporting Bernie Tafoya
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WHEATON, Ill. (CBS) – An Addison man was being held on $200,000 bond Thursday after stealing the wrong computer – a Laptop with built-in tracking technology that led police right to him.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Hinsdale police arrested Richard Leon, 59, for stealing a $4,500 Apple MacBook Pro laptop from a commercial office building at 15 Spinning Wheel Road on Wednesday.
The laptop was stolen from a conference room while its owner was at lunch.
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Hinsdale Police Det. Joe Rauen said he had the victim monitor the laptop’s built-in tracking software.
“About two hours later is when he got an email notification telling him exactly the location of where it was located at,” Rauen said.
Authorities said Leon was surprised to see police officers at his home within four hours of the theft.
“We saw the suspect fleeing out the back door with his shoes off. We ended up jumping a fence to apprehend him,” Rauen said.
Leon allegedly had the stolen laptop in his hand when he was caught.
“A normal case like this might take weeks and we’d have to wait for someone to pawn something or sell it. We were able to solve this case in a matter of hours,” Rauen said.
Leon was charged with one felony count of burglary and one felony count of theft. Police said he was not authorized to be in the building where the computer was stolen. Bond was set at $200,000 on Thursday.
Hinsdale Police Deputy Chief Mark Wodka said tracking software is so valuable for your possessions.
“In the last six months, we also had a stolen vehicle in which the victim told us that he left his iPhone in the car,” Wodka said. “And within a few moments of learning this, we had discovered that the stolen car was parked in Hinsdale.”
He also pointed out that loss of the computer could have meant more than just losing an expensive piece of electronics.
“The value of this MacBook is negligent compared to the cost of this person’s personal information or business information, as well as photographs and music collections that they may have been saving for years,” Wodka said.
Police said the public should be aware that tracking devices or software is pre-installed on many Apple products and that Windows and PC users can buy after-market tracking software for their computers and mobile devices.