London

Looting suspect traced on Facebook by stolen laptop's owner

A teenager who allegedly stole a laptop from a west London flat during the riots was traced on Facebook by the computer's owner.

Greg Martin, an information security professional, had a Macbook Pro laptop and other belongings taken from his flat in West Kensington last week.

He had installed a tracking device on the laptop and got the suspect's ID from the social networking site.

Soheil Khalilfar, 18, has been charged with handling stolen goods.

Once he flagged the laptop as missing, Mr Martin waited for the first report to come in.

The former Nasa and FBI employee said: "Almost two weary days had gone by and I'm at dinner on a business trip in Luxembourg and I received an email which nearly knocked me out of my chair with excitement."

Trouble near home

Mr Martin described on his blog how he then monitored the suspected burglar surfing the internet and was able to get his identity from Facebook.

He wrote: "After two hours of watching him surf religious revelation videos, shopping for Mercedes A class on Autotrader he finally popped onto Facebook!"

He said the information included the man's name, school, address in west London and information about his wireless internet.

After he handed the details over to police, they raided the man's flat and recovered the laptop.

Mr Martin was staying at his girlfriend's house, because of trouble near his own home, when the Macbook was stolen.

Mr Khalilfar was bailed to appear before West London Magistrates' Court on Friday.

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