November has brought us two stories of stolen laptops that were recovered with the help of tracking software. Looks like hot computers are the “it” gift for the recessionista.

Read all about the guy who was allegedly caught red-handed, with screenshots of his face as he used a USC student's stolen MacBook, here.

Sheriff's officials said late Tuesday that the latest case appeared to be wrapped up (with a bow) last Friday when …

… 22-year-old Jose Miguel Ramirez of San Pedro brought the stolen laptop into the Lomita Sheriff's station and surrendered.

A couple in Rancho Palos Verdes reported two laptops and a Play Station 3 stolen Oct. 20 and couldn't figure out who done it partly because it didn't appear anyone had broken in to their home, according to a sheriff's statement.

One of the laptops had tracking software that survived the suspect's attempts to wipe the hard drive clean and install a new operating system, authorities said.

The application remained, and it captured a suspect logging on to Facebook, they said. Sheriff's officials:

On November 4, the suspect used the laptop to logon to Facebook. This enabled the monitoring company to gather the suspect's personal information, including a photo of him, his name, and more. This was given to the sheriff's investigator.


A sheriff's detective showed the Facebook user's photo to the victims. They recognized him as a handyman they had entrusted with — you guessed it — a spare key to their house.

Alas, the guy they knew as “Pepe” is Ramirez, sheriff's officials say. And Ramirez was arrested on suspicion of felony burglary. He ended up with no-hold bail because of a “felony immigration hold” on the part of U.S. Customs. Eek.

Is this guy going to be deported because of social networking? Status update: F—ed.


LA Weekly