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Software traces 'laptop thief'

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Tracking technology installed on a laptop has led police to a suspected burglar.

Avoiding the need for a home insurance claim on the item, the computer's owner, Emma Parrington, said she activated software on the machine when she realised it had been stolen from her home in Bristol a few weeks ago.

A photograph of the new laptop user was taken, a GPS location recorded and the wifi address to which the stolen item was connected also logged.

The information gathered by the software was then passed to police who found the person in question and made an arrest.

Miss Parrington said: "I got home late at night and when I realised what had happened I went to my friend's and activated a software application I had installed free on my laptop called Prey.

"I went to bed and when I woke up I had received an email from the company which stated that my laptop had been used at 3am and gave me a GPS location of the wifi address it was connected to, a list of sites that had been visited and even took a photograph of the person using the laptop.

"I contacted the police with all this information and they printed it all off."

© Press Association 2011