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Lake Charles tech company helps bust Wyoming crime ring

Last Modified: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 10:39 AM

By Lance Traweek / American Press

Work by a Lake Charles information technology company last month led to the arrest of five Wyoming men who are accused in more than 40 burglaries and the theft of more than $30,000 worth of property over an eight-week period.

Paul Hite of InfoTECH Solutions in Lake Charles said he was contacted by an employee at Aerion Rental Services, a Lafayette-based oilfield equipment rental company, whose laptop was stolen from an employee’s vehicle during the night of Oct. 3 in Wyoming.

Aerion Rental Services has a remote user located in Wyoming where the burglary took place.

Hite said once he was alerted about the theft, his first concern was “privacy and data protection” of the user.

“For Aerion, the laptop contained potentially sensitive information,” Hite wrote in his company blog. “We knew there may only be a small window in which to act.”

InfoTECH staff assembled an application that would “purge all sensitive documents and e-mails from the computer and report back some basic details about its status,” Hite said.

“The application was scheduled to run the next time the device checked in to InfoTECH’s control servers. We anticipated the device would be left offline and inaccessible for a long period before it was sold to an unsuspecting buyer,” Hite said. “I was very surprised to get an alert that same evening indicating it was online — and being actively used.”

Hite said once technicians were confident that the data had been wiped, they moved to the second phase — attempting to track the laptop.

Hite said a series of open-source applications were pushed down to the laptop, the most important of which was an anti-theft tool. InfoTECH could then perform several actions, including monitoring the screen, activating the webcam, and gathering data about nearby WiFi hotspots, Hite said.

“Over the next week, InfoTECH worked with local authorities to track down the suspect,” Hite said. “Through the user’s Facebook activity, the suspect’s name and acquaintances were easily learned. The webcam also silently snapped photos for evidence. But most important was the WiFi data, which could be coupled with a service from Google to provide an approximate, and in this case, exact, location of the laptop.”

Hite said because of the high number of WiFi hotspots in the small residential neighborhood in which the thief operated, the coordinates provided matched exactly to a specific address.

“The address provided was matched to a known acquaintance that InfoTECH had identified based on the suspect’s Facebook profile,” Hite said. “Once the information was passed to authorities and a warrant was obtained, the local police department acted swiftly. They searched the home and found not only the laptop, but many other stolen items as well.”

Other items stolen included firearms, TVs and GPS devices, according to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.

“This was an isolated incident through permission from authorities,” Toby Leger, also with InfoTECH, told the American Press on Monday. “This is not something InfoTECH normally does.”

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle also reported that the men were dubbed the “Garage Door Bandits” by Cheyenne Police detectives because they frequently stole garage door openers to access residential garages.

Posted By: sarvsammat On: 11/27/2012

Title: sarvsammat

I am not agree to this post and i say you please don't help crime . Stop the crime for every democratic city and help to every people .

Posted By: Flora Stringer On: 11/13/2012

Title: Lake Charles tech company helps bust Wyoming crime ring

Coverage is fantastic, story extremely well written. Lake Charles information technology company did a superb job and did it quickly.

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