Police have arrested two men and recovered $US5500 (00) worth of stolen computers and electronic devices after the owner of one of the purloined laptops was able to connect remotely to her Apple Mac Book and photograph the thief.Kait Duplaga, 19, returned to her New York state home on April 27 to find the unit she shared with two other flat mates had been ransacked.
Duplaga, who had not recovered the computer, realised that someone using her stolen Mac had gone online.
She signed on to another Mac and activated "Back to My Mac", a feature that is available to people to subscribe to the . From there she was able to remotely activate the laptop's built-in web cam.
After a short while, a man sat down in front of her computer and Duplaga used the remote control function to capture a photo.
By the time he realised what was going on it was too late to prevent the picture from being transmitted back to Duplaga. One of Duplaga's flatmates recognised the tattooed thief from the photograph.
The man in the photo turned out to be Ian Frias, a friend of victims.
Frias and his friend, Edmon Shahikian, had attended a party at the unit a few weeks earlier.
The following day, police arrested Frias, 20, and Shahikian, 23.
The pair were bailed and now face charges of burglary and possession of stolen property.
"It doesn't get much better than their bringing us a picture of the guy actually using the stolen property," Daniel Jackson, the deputy commissioner of public safety in the city of White Plains, told The New York Times.