Who needs the cops when you’ve got Twitter instead?

An Oakland man whose laptop was stolen in March has finally got it back – courtesy of Twitter.

Joshua Kaufman wasn’t too worried about the theft at first, as he’d just installed theft-tracking software. And indeed, he soon received pictures of the thief.

So far, so good. But when Kaufman went to the police with his pictures, nothing happened. He was even able to tell them where the thief – who seemed to spend most of his time sleeping – was. Still no joy.

“I followed up with an investigator at Oakland Police Department on April 25, presenting him with this additional evidence, which was attached to my previous report,” Kaufman says.

“I contacted the investigator twice via email, asking him if he was able to make any progress on my case, but I didn’t hear anything back.”

So Kaufman took matters into his own hands, starting a blog entitled

This Guy Has My MacBook” and posting pictures of the thief on Twitter on Tuesday.

And this is what seems to have done the trick. Kaufman’s tweets went viral – so much so that even the Oakland police couldn’t ignore them.

“Late Tuesday afternoon, I received a call from Officer Joshi of the Oakland Police Department after she was contacted by Good Morning America,” says Kaufman. “She told me that the Oakland Police Department would be following up on my case immediately.”

And on Tuesday night, the thief was finally arrested, and Kaufman got his MacBook back yesterday. Apparently the police said they were sorry.