Yesterday my Laptop was Stolen. Today I met with the thief.

This is a discussion on Yesterday my Laptop was Stolen. Today I met with the thief. within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by Tye_Defender If you go somewhere that you might need your gun and have to use it, there are some (including me) that ...

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Thread: Yesterday my Laptop was Stolen. Today I met with the thief.

  1. #31
    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tye_Defender View Post

    If you go somewhere that you might need your gun and have to use it, there are some (including me) that are going to ask the question "Why did you go there in the first place".
    Because this is America and I'm free to go wherever I want......?

    Regardless though, I'd rather answer those questions than be dead as a result of not arming myself when it was perfectly legal to have been armed!

    Judged by 12, rather than carried by 6......
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."

    Theodore Roosevelt

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  3. #32
    Senior Member Array LeCalsey's Avatar
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    You did fine but I would have been packing nonetheless. Its your property (Not worth your life) and you have a right to whats yours. You should have stacked the odds in your favor though IMO

    Example: One of my employees had his phone stolen from a jobsite a few months ago. The joker called him at our office and demanded a "Finders fee" The employee made arrangements to meet him along with the finders fee AND unknown to the joker 6 of our biggest guys in an unmarked van in the lot three spaces over just in case. When thye pulled in, he asked to check the phone and the guy handed it to him. He looked the phone over and walked away. Right as he was walking away, two of "finders fee's" buddies jumped out of the truck to try to stop him from walking away. They came to a quick decision and found three against seven was a really bad idea.

    BTW...we had called the cops just prior and they told us it was not an issue they would get involved in.
    2A is not negotiable

  4. #33
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    Very gutsy move, glad it worked out and know one was hurt. Too bad the LEO's weren't more help.

  5. #34
    Member Array UW Dawg's Avatar
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    Ballsy move on your part, glad it seems to have worked out okay. I would be especially aware of what's going on around you, since they now know where you live and work, what you drive, and what you look like.

    It is also highly likely that they made copies of the files on your hard drive. If you had anything sensitive on there, I'd be on the lookout for that as well.

  6. #35
    Member Array Rivers's Avatar
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    Demanding a finder's fee in return of stolen property is EXTORTION, not blackmail. I knew an otherwise spectacular criminal defense attorney who made that bonehead mistake, contacting the owner of stolen jewelry that his client had given the attorney. Disbarred!

    A little note about laptops (and computers in general.) Do NOT store your passwords on your laptop, nor any UNENCRYPTED information that you need to keep private. With any computer, consider your situation should that computer simply no longer exist (stolen, fire, flood, etc.) What would you do? Are your important files backed up, and how recently? As a general rule, you should back up your data with an eye on how much productivity you can afford to replace, and how unique your files are.

    I routinely have a clone hard drive in my office computer that backs up the primary drive throughout the day. When I change computers, I take the primary drive out and put it in an external USB enclosure so I can access it if necessary.

    For clients who travel with laptops, always have them back up to an external USB drive which stays in their fire safe at work. A CPA client rotates a pair of external backup drives which he alternates and takes one home each day. If his office burned down, he would be back in business with at most a day lost. He can absorb that easily so that's a tolerable risk.

  7. #36
    Senior Member Array BradyM77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    My thoughts too!
    I might have tried the same thing, but once that individual placed a hand upon me...I would have become very unfriendly.
    +1

    Other than going unarmed I think you did pretty good. I don't think I would have turned my back on him though. And once he grabbed me it's on like donkey kong!

    Watch your back!
    "I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, you can't prove anything!" Bart Simpson

  8. #37
    Senior Member Array dsee11789's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rivers View Post
    Demanding a finder's fee in return of stolen property is EXTORTION, not blackmail.
    I know, but when I was talking to the guy I said blackmail. I couldn't remember the proper term at the time.

    A little note about laptops (and computers in general.) Do NOT store your passwords on your laptop, nor any UNENCRYPTED information that you need to keep private. With any computer, consider your situation should that computer simply no longer exist (stolen, fire, flood, etc.) What would you do? Are your important files backed up, and how recently? As a general rule, you should back up your data with an eye on how much productivity you can afford to replace, and how unique your files are.

    I routinely have a clone hard drive in my office computer that backs up the primary drive throughout the day. When I change computers, I take the primary drive out and put it in an external USB enclosure so I can access it if necessary.

    For clients who travel with laptops, always have them back up to an external USB drive which stays in their fire safe at work. A CPA client rotates a pair of external backup drives which he alternates and takes one home each day. If his office burned down, he would be back in business with at most a day lost. He can absorb that easily so that's a tolerable risk.
    I am definitely going to start making images of my hard drive on a regular basis.
    Exodus 22:2 "If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed"

  9. #38
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    Okay, the guy wanted you to give him something for your computer... you had a stun gun and didn't give the guy a free ride on the lightning?

    Seriously though, If you had to go, I would have taken my weapon too.
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

    "A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
    judgement to keep himself out of situations that would require a display of his
    superior skills."

  10. #39
    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    You were very lucky to get the laptop back. this kind of scum used to break into my shop and steal all the office equipment. The scum would come back in the next couple of days and try to sell it back to you. When you called the cops they were always busy. Too bad you can't take the scum behind the building and deal out some justice. this was in Miami in the middle sixties and early seventies in Miami.

  11. #40
    Member Array skippythenurse's Avatar
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    Depending on the model of the laptop, you could make changes to the BIOS to make it ask for a password on boot. Without the right password, the system will NOT boot into the OS, thus prevent running password recovery apps. Dell and Toshiba systems have this feature. That way, the only way to access files is to physically take out the hard drive and connect to another system or take out the motherboard and reset the CMOS. That is something most thugs don't know how to do. Worth a shot. Vista, although as a computer geek I am not very fond of, does have these cool features where you can (A) back up the hard drive (easier than XP) and (B) make the system NOT operable without the USB security key (look up BitLocker).

    Sorry, I am known among my friends for data recovery and security. Networking was never my strength.

  12. #41
    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfshead View Post
    A friend of mine was mugged near Wayne State University in Detroit and the cops were just a few blocks away....the perp stole her laptop and Ipod. Of course no one did anything to help and the cops came 15 minutes later.

    I am thinking of carrying a taser but the ones out there are too big for concealed carry. The small ones are too feminine.

    :-(
    Don't think tasers legal for non-leo in mi
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  13. #42
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tye_Defender View Post
    If you go somewhere that you might need your gun and have to use it, there are some (including me) that are going to ask the question "Why did you go there in the first place". If that was the only question, you'd probably be okay, but add in a few other questions and you might really be in trouble.
    You might need a gun at the corner drug store. I suppose you realize that and stay away from there for that reason.
    Same can be said for Grocery stores...Malls...Banks....about any place you might go.

    I carry at all of these places exactly because I might need a
    gun.

    Michael

  14. #43
    Member Array packin45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsee11789 View Post
    I know I'm gonna get a lot of negative feedback, but I really wanted my laptop back....


    Monday morning as I was leaving for work I noticed the smell of spoiled raw chicken that my girlfriend had put into the garbage last-night. So I took the bag out of the trash and went outside to throw it in the dumpster (Apartment Complex).

    As I was walking by my car the bag began to tear. I had my briefcase with my laptop in it on my shoulder. I set it on the trunk of my car as I wrestled with the garbage bag. I finally got to the dumpster and threw in the garbage bag. I turned around to go back to my car. When I got to my car the Briefcase was gone.

    I was super bummed and kept kicking myself all day. The computer had important work stuff and I had all my internet site passwords saved. So I spent the rest of the day changing passwords and trying to remember all my work files.

    I filed a police report but they basically told me nothing would come of it.

    ------

    Today at 3:00 p.m. while I was at work I received a Blocked Call on my cell phone. I answered it. The person told me that they had found my laptop and that they found my cell number in it. I was very happy and asked him where he was so that I could recover it. He then told me that he didn't have the laptop, his buddy had it. I asked him how I could get in contact with his buddy. He told me that he would have him call me in a little bit.

    In about 10 minutes, I got another blocked phone call from a different person. When I answered, the guy told me that he had someone that wanted to buy my laptop for $350, and what was I going to offer in exchange for my laptop. I told him that I really needed the computer back and I would give him $400.

    He told me to meet him in front of his apartment complex at 6:30 p.m.

    I called the Police Department. They told me that they wouldn't do anything at that moment and to call them back right before the meet, and they would send over a patrol car to go with me to apartment.

    Then I went down to the police station to try and talk to someone to go with me in plain clothes, because I figured if the guys saw a Police Car they would bail on the meeting. The visit to the Police Station turned out to be a waste of time.

    I figured that the way the meeting would work would be I go to the meet and he asks to see the money before letting me see the computer. I didn't have $400 cash laying around so I took 50 one dollar bills and rolled them up just like drug money and put a $20 on the outside.

    I planned on flashing the money if necessary and getting them to show me the computer.

    I took a Kimber Pepperblaster and Stun Gun hidden IWB, just in case. A handgun would never have flown in court because I intentionally put myself in danger.

    6:30 rolled around and I got a call asking where I was. I told them that I would be there in a few minutes. I called the police and asked them to meet me there, they told me that it was going to be awhile.

    I drove up to the apartment complex and parked. I sat in my car until I saw a guy come out of one of the hallways. He was carrying my briefcase in his hand, and he was alone. I walked over to him and asked to inspect the computer for damage. I checked to make sure that it worked and then I put it back into its case. I slung the shoulder strap across my body.
    I then said, "You know what you're doing is blackmail"
    He says, "I'm not blackmailing I'm just tryin to get me a lil finders fee."
    I said, "Well there's and Cop sitting around the corner, and If you don't wanna go down for theft and blackmail you'd better turn around and walk inside.

    I began to walk backwards. He grabbed the strap and said, "Come on man gimme somthin, I could've just sold it, I didn't have to give you the chance to buy it back. I said "Let go of me" in a calm stern voice, as I continued to walk backwards pulling him with me into the parking lot. I placed my hand on the stun gun. I was just about to use it when he let go of me. I walked back to my car keeping my SA on High. I called the police back and told them I had recovered my laptop, and to meet me at my apartment.

    I got back to my apartment and the Police arrived 10 minutes later. I told them that he had put his hands on me and filed a report just incase the guy seeks retribution. The police told me that even if they had been there they could not have arrested the guy for anything. They said that they would step up patrols in my neighborhood (Probably a lie).

    I work with that PD a lot and they are pretty worthless. I'm the Loss Prevention Manager at a local store and they very rarely arrest our thieves, even for felonies and fights. The bad guys know the system and milk it well.

    I know it was kinda dumb of me to go alone, but I got my laptop back. Just saved 1000 bucks.
    "To Protect And Serve"
    G17, G26

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil...

  15. #44
    Member Array Rivers's Avatar
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    Macs also have the firmware password feature that prohibits booting from anything other than the hard drive without a password. And you need your password to boot normally from the drive so you're covered. Even if you remove the drive, a thief can't access the user files without permission, meaning username and password. Oh yeah, you can also install XP, etc. to run within the OS X boot or from a separate partition.

    BTW, glad you got your laptop back, even if you took some risks. Having more backup would have been nice. Guess our tax dollars have their limits when we can't even give some cops an easy bust!

  16. #45
    Member Array CenCal's Avatar
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    For the BG to be that brazen and not get attention from the local LE is a huge disappointment.

    +1... you do have a set.

    Glad your safe.

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