Just when you thought that every hipster's favorite website could do it all, a Tumblr blog launched a worldwide manhunt for a laptop thief less than 24 hours ago. Police recovered the laptop and arrested the suspected thief earlier this afternoon. This, on top of that Urban-Outfitters-rips-off-artists scandal last week? Social media's power has become utterly unstoppable in the face of villains everywhere!
Yesterday, Joshua Kaufman started a new Tumblr blog with a helpful URL (thisguyhasmymacbook.tumblr.com) and asked the world to help him recover his stolen computer. Using an anti-theft program called Hidden, Kaufman had photographed the thief using the MacBook's webcam and throughout the day uploaded photos of a shady-looking man, just like the one above. The link to Kaufman's blog went viral yesterday--perhaps in part due to Kaufman's nearly 6,000 followers on Twitter and connections with the San Francisco tech community. (He's an interaction designer for an email marketing firm.)
This was not, however, Kaufman's first attempt at using the Internet to get his laptop back. Evidently the machine had been stolen back in April, and using Flickr and the tracking software caught the attention of the Oakland Police Department. The Tumblr flare-up yesterday was just the latest in a Kaufman's much-tweeted-about saga to recover his lost property.