PORTLAND -- A crook messed with the wrong man when he stole his electronic devices, said West Linn Police. Now, that man is able to track the thief's' every move.
"I came back out to grab some more things and all (of it) was gone," said Jordan Winthrop of Estacada.
Winthrop was moving items in and out of a friend's place in West Linn when a thief broke into his SUV and stole everything inside.
"They took my bag, my wallet, my check book, my wallet, my cell phone and some of my work tools," he said.
But unlike many victims, police said Winthrop was prepared. Winthrop, who runs the technology store NW Hi-Tech Solutions in downtown Estacada has tracking software on all of his electronic devices.
"I was able to figure out that my iPhone was the next street over," he said.
With Winthrop telling them the direction, West Linn Police were able to find his iPhone leaning against a telephone poll on the street. All of the fingerprints had been wiped off. But, Winthop also has tracking software on his stolen laptop, and a camera.
"A few hours later, (the tracking software) emailed me saying 'Your laptop has just been turned on' and it sent me pictures of the guy that was using the laptop," Winthrop said.
The web cam took four pictures of the man who turned the laptop on, and it showed where he did so, at 6th Avenue and Couch Street in Northwest Portland.
"I emailed those to West Linn Police right away and then it also gave me an estimate of where the laptop was located in Portland," said Winthrop.
West Linn Police have contacted Portland Police and the two agencies are working together. West Linn Police said the tracking will likely help them catch the crook.
"That gives us a step forward beyond where we would have been in the past. We have a place where we can go look now," said Sgt. Dave Kempes with West Linn Police.
Kempes said when people protect themselves it helps investigators.
"It does give us an area to go look at, plus we've got some pictures to look at," he said. "If everybody started using this software, thieves will have a lot less to go off of and they will be a lot more scared to steal electronic devices."
Winthrop recommends setting up "Find my iPhone" to track your iPhone. For Android, he recommended using "Where's my Android."
For computers and laptops, he said preyproject.com is a non-profit anti-theft software which is free for your first three computers. A lot of people are familiar with and like LoJack.com, or you can try Portland based GadgetTrak.