It seems the prevalence of technology has given laptop would-be thieves another reason to think twice before they act. Such a case is that of Sean Powers when he got his laptop stolen in SoHo, where he utilized tracking software to not only identify the thief, but find the exact location of where he was using the laptop in real-time.
We won't be giving out all the spoilers (you can read up on the entire saga over here), but basically the magic component here is Prey, a free open-source tracking software, that allows you to capture data from the thief using your stolen tech. You can track the location of the stolen laptop or phone using GPS or data triangulation.
While we can certainly see this going down the wrong route if placed in the wrong hands, we think for us home users who want that extra layer of security in case the evil-doers catch us off guard, this certainly does just that.
One thing we'd recommend, however, is taking after Sean's shining example of a calm and collected approach. Simply get as much info about the thief as possible, submit it to the cops to see what they can do, and finally, take it in your own hands as a final and last resort - by contacting the individual personally asking for it back.
Have you tried out Prey? Share your own experiences on incidences with stolen tech!