Police trace stolen laptop to deceased man

Company laptop had GPS software

GREENWOOD, Ind. - A high-tech search for a stolen laptop led police to a suspect who died shortly after logging onto the Internet using the stolen computer.

The laptop was stolen when a Chevy Malibu was broken into on Oct. 22 along Whirlaway Lane in southeast Indianapolis.

The victim told Indianapolis Metropolitan Police that the stolen computer belonged to his employer, a local advertising sign firm.

As police were investigating, the sign company's computer technicians told officers they were able to track the exact location of the stolen computer, using software imbedded in the laptop.  The software, known as a "Workforce Locator," allows employers to track the GPS coordinates of their employees at any time.

The company gave police an address in Greenwood, where the laptop was located a few days after the theft.  The program indicated the computer hadn't moved from that address for a couple days. 

The tracking software also told them that the computer had been used to log onto the Internet, using an email address that police found matched the name of a man who lived at the address.

According to the IMPD police report, officers typed the address into their police dispatch computers and found that the man with the same name as that email address had died at that address, shortly after logging onto the Internet using that stolen laptop.

When the original death call was handled by police at his address, officers apparently left the laptop with family members because there was no indication it was stolen.  However, once the victim's company traced the stolen computer to his address, a search warrant was obtained and officers returned to seize the computer.

Court records indicate the laptop was confiscated as part of the theft investigation.  The report does not indicate any arrests in the case.

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