Local News

Software solves burglary while Raleigh couple vacations in Aruba

Posted October 3, 2012 11:08 p.m. EDT
Updated October 4, 2012 12:08 a.m. EDT

— The story of a break-in at a Raleigh man's home begins in paradise. Jonathan Moss and his new wife were honeymooning in Aruba when his landlord emailed some bad news.

There had been a burglary at the couple's home. An Apple laptop, a wedding gift to Moss from his wife, was stolen.

"We were really upset about it," Moss said Wednesday. "Then I thought, hold on, I installed this thing, this software."

An investigator was already on the job. The software, called Prey, can track a computer's location and even turn a laptop into a private eye.

"It takes a picture, using the webcam," Moss said.

The camera on his computer captured an image of a man he didn't know, later identified as Johnny Howard Fogg Jr., and the software pinpointed the man's location. It also allowed Moss to see the activity on his computer – another man checking email and searching Craigslist.

"(I thought), yeah, we are going to get this guy," he said.

He turned the information over to police, who arrested Fogg last week and charged him with possession of stolen property. Moss got his laptop back when he returned from Aruba.

Another computer and television taken from Moss' house have not been recovered.

But without Prey, Moss doubts he would ever have seen his computer again. 

"Police tell me it is really difficult to do in situations like these," he said.