August 22, 2014

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Wi-Fi leeching leads to recovery of stolen laptop

LORAIN — A digital trail helped police recover a stolen laptop computer and make an arrest in connection with the theft about 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

A resident of the 1300 block of West Ninth Street called police after detecting someone close by logging in with the laptop — reported stolen in an Aug. 5 burglary — on his Wi-Fi network, according to police Detective Jacob Morris. The tip led police to search the home of the neighbor of the victim.

The search found nothing, but a neighbor told police about a man acting nervous and hiding something outside the home during the police search, Morris said.

The man, identified as city resident Demetrius Jackson, ran from police before being caught by Officer Tod Reed hiding in a backyard at the intersection of Brownell Avenue and West 11th Street, Morris said.

Jackson denied stealing the computer but admitted to hiding it, according to a police report. The computer was returned to the owner.

Jackson, 18, of the 1300 block of West Ninth Street, was charged with obstructing official business and receiving stolen property. Jackson was being held Thursday night at Lorain City Jail in lieu of a $2,500 bond and is due in Lorain Municipal Court today.

Morris said the electronic lead that broke the case was a first.

“Because of the fact that these people were able to log on to the Internet, we knew they had to be within maybe a 300- or 400-foot radius at the max because of the type of modem the guy had,” Morris said.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.