‘Back to My Mac’ catches Apple MacBook thieves

.Mac (Apple Inc.)“A tech-savvy White Plains woman whose apartment was burglarized solved the crime herself after she was able to log on to her stolen laptop, photograph one of the suspects with it and get photos of another, police said,” Richard Liebson reports for The Journal News.

“Edmon Shahikian, 23, of 13 Cobbling Rock Road, Katonah, and Ian Frias, 20, of 1609 E. 174th St., the Bronx, were picked up at their homes Wednesday night after the victim turned the pictures over to police. The police said they recovered most of the $5,000 worth of electronics stolen in the burglary,” Liebson reports.

“On Tuesday, police said, one of the victims, who works at The Apple Store in The Westchester mall, received a call from a friend asking her if she was online,” Liebson reports. “The victim said no, and was told by the friend that his computer showed her as being logged onto the Internet.”

“At that point, police said, the victim signed onto another computer and used the ‘Back to My Mac‘ program to determine that her stolen MacIntosh laptop indeed was signed onto the Web and that someone was using it to shop online. She then activated the stolen computer’s camera, allowing her to ‘see’ what was in front of the laptop,” Liebson reports.

“At first, police said, she saw only an empty chair. But a short time later, they said, she was able to photograph a man, Shahikian, sitting in front of her stolen laptop. The victim then was able to find photos of Frias using the computer after it had been stolen, police said,” Liebson reports.

“The computer-savvy victim contacted police, gave them the tell-tale photos, and the arrests were made a short time later,” Liebson reports.

“Frias and Shahikian were arrested last year on charges of criminal possession of marijuana, a felony, after police recovered 3 pounds of marijuana worth about $7,500 in a Jeep they were in,” Liebson reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, this modern day Cheech and Chong are criminally stupid. Looks like .Mac paid for itself many times over in this case.


  1. Wouldn’t they have seen her using the camera software to take the photo’s? I’ve never used the back to mac software so I could be wrong. I know when I use Share Screen you can see everything that the other person is doing.

  2. Well, she worked at the Apple Store . I wonder whether rather than sharing the screen, she used a backdoor method not widely known, to activate a Macbook camera remotely and surreptitiously? Through the Terminal?

  3. @ Zach:

    She might have turned on screen sharing and just taken a screen shot of the window on the computer she was using, rather than taking a photograph with PhotoBooth or iChat. Or these idiots could have been too stupid to notice her taking the picture or controlling the computer.

  4. anthony007 has the right idea … make a Mac ad out of the story. OK, sure, maybe the next mentally deficient clowns who steal a Mac portable or iMac will understand the dangers, but just as likely they’ll say “leave the Mac alone … they can track it”.

  5. First off, three pounds of pot is now going for $7,500? Move over Frias and Shahikian. I’m changing careers. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> If you were selling pot for that much, why would you take to being a common burglar?

    Second off, did the victim have her Mac set up to get open access to be remotely operated via Back To My Mac? That makes me wonder if she leaves her front door unlocked too. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” /> In fact, this whole story sounds kind of suspicious to me, but then I tend to not trust obvious PR stories. Obviously, I don’t know much about .Mac and how you can share stuff back and forth between that and your Macintosh.

    Just guessing, but they may have thought that it was just some pop-up advertising and completely ignored it. Then again, if the victim was a big Mac user, she could have moved everything behind the screen.

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