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Two students at the University of San Diego were recently the victims of electronics theft, the USD Vista reports.

Both students reported that their items, a digital camera and a laptop, went missing shortly after encounters with a woman described as about 5’2” with brown hair and glasses during the evening of February 9.

Sophmore Jeffrey Zhu, owner of the laptop, reports police were less than helpful in attempting to locate his computer. Zhu says he initially contacted a Public Safety officer on campus, who “sounded really nice and sounded like he wanted to get my laptop back.”

Zhu then activated Hidden, an app he’d downloaded to his computer that was programmed to randomly take photographs of whoever was using the device and broadcast them, along with GPS coordinates, to his cell phone. He used the program to obtain pictures of a male suspect working on his computer, as well as the address of an apartment complex.

“After I got all of that good stuff I called the San Diego Police Department and they were not helpful,” Zhu told the Vista. “They said that they couldn't just ‘knock on doors' for me. Then I called Public Safety and they said that they couldn't do anything if the address was off-campus.”

Zhu took his photos to the apartment building himself and contacted the building manager, who confirmed the identity of the suspect as a resident and provided Zhu with the suspect’s contact information. The manager’s wife pointed out that the suspect’s car was in the parking lot, indicating that he was likely home at the time.

“So I called the SDPD and I told them that I had done all of this work and I had all of the information and proof,” says Zhu. “I told them that they didn't have to knock on any doors. So they finally sent the cops over and the guy happened to be leaving [his apartment] at that moment.”

Police searched the apartment and recovered the stolen laptop. No word was given on whether the camera stolen from sophomore Marc Gonzales had been located.

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Comments

SurfPuppy619 Feb. 17, 2012 @ 5:58 p.m.

Typical GED cop, these $200K per year clowns are a joke.

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Visduh Feb. 18, 2012 @ 8:58 a.m.

Agreed. Another excuse often given for law enforcement inaction is the old "that's a civil matter" ruse, wherein your loss is shuffled off as something to be resolved by lawsuit. One of the more creative ones I heard was that heavy dump trucks driving on a street with a 7 ton weight limit was a "code compliance" issue, not a law enforcement matter. At least that one was reconsidered by another cop, and some action was taken.

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BlueSouthPark Feb. 18, 2012 @ 9:04 a.m.

Wow, this is a cool story. Kudos to the guy who had the App. I want it! The SDPD handled it very well, I'd say. We don't live in a police state, and cops cannot just go pounding on doors on the word of someone who says someone else did something. The victim of the theft made the right move in finally going to the location and getting confirmation that his suspect was present. Then the cops could rightfully come to the scene, which was basically a pending confrontation that could go south. Everyone did the right thing, and the police department behaved with appropriate caution and restraint. You can imagine that people might just make false allegations, trying to the use cops to burn someone; if the cops were reactive to every complaint, or spent time investigating every phone call where someone says someone else did something, ...you get it. But most importantly, we do NOT want to live in a police state.

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Visduh Feb. 18, 2012 @ 10:01 a.m.

Amazing how the shirking of responsibility to "protect and serve" can be excused or, better yet, lauded. Well, Blue, when you are the victim and the cops require you to do their jobs before they act, perhaps you'll get it. Or maybe not. There is the old saw that a conservative is a former liberal who was mugged.

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nostalgic Feb. 18, 2012 @ 10:53 a.m.

So what is the app that does all this? I never heard of it.If you ever had a computer stolen, with all your files on it, you can RELATE!

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 18, 2012 @ 5:15 p.m.

IOhave also heard ot it, but have not downladed it. It has caught many laptop thiefs.

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