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Topic

nostalgia2302 4 months ago

Hello,

Two days ago, someone broke into the building I am living in, entered my room, and stole my laptop. Thankfully that's all he managed to grab while I was in the bathroom, and he sped off when he heard the door.

Question is: The person opened Google Chrome and attempted to enter Gmail, I got an alert about suspicious log-in from a new IP address. Can the police track this IP, or MAC addresses in order to know where my laptop is, or was located?

As far as I'm aware, they need a warrant, but...can it be done?

Comments Sorted by:

bucketofcrud12 4 Builds 1 point 4 months ago

yes, it can be done easily. nobody needs a warrant to track an IP... I do it all the time. In fact, there are even ways to do it from the windows command prompt. this is all a moot point if the person in question did this from the relative safety of a VPN.

Root_User 1 point 4 months ago

Question is: The person opened Google Chrome and attempted to enter Gmail, I got an alert about suspicious log-in from a new IP address. Can the police track this IP, or MAC addresses in order to know where my laptop is, or was located?

If that IP is just that of a proxy or functional equivalent, then it alone will not be of much help. (If the service collects enough information about its users, perhaps that information could be subpoenaed, but that's a lengthy and uphill battle.)

If the IP is say, the external IP address from their home network, the police can contact the ISP and attempt to obtain their (postal) address (if they have enough for a warrant).

The MAC Address isn't going to help you locate them. I mean, it gets cut out after each hop. At best, if you've got the MAC addresses for the wireless and/or wired NIC, you may have an easier time demonstrating that the laptop is yours, even if the thief (or later owner) has removed other identifying indicators.

DaMysteryMan 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

Tracking or stealing IPs is not a good idea, with teh exception of cases like this. Head over to the police, tell them what happened, talk to somebody there that knows what they are doing tech wise, and have them track the IP. How much is teh laptopnworth?

Fleetleader101 0 points 4 months ago

That laptop is long gone bud, most likely the cops wont take time to find it. If you have renters or home insurance you can ask them if they would compensate you for your loss.

nostalgia2302 submitter 1 point 4 months ago

Yes, I have resigned myself to that. The laptop was just worth $300 USD and I used it for office work when travelling overseas. It’s not the computer I’m worried about, but the data it it. It has tons of sensitive information there, like a lot of passwords and all of my mother’s business documentation.