OK, this is really fascinating shit happening right now on Twitter. We’ve been following this for a few minutes, and it is scary awesome.
Sean Power, a Canadian writer, reported at a little before 11 pm tonight that someone was using his stolen laptop…
Using a laptop tracker called Prey, Power was able to get webcam shots of a guy — presumably his laptop thief — using his computer! And he was also able to get a location on the machine, at a Soho tequila bar!
Cops are on the way, Power says, and he has a friend at the bar watching to make sure the thief doesn’t leave.
But last call has been sounded — will the cops get there in time to catch the thief?
Using his laptop remotely, Power says he was able to snap this picture of the guy using his computer:
Is this the guy who swiped Power’s laptop? Or is Power making this shit up to sell a program or something? I can’t tell!
When I saw this tweet, I wondered if Power is hoaxing:
Now he says the cops won’t go without a police report, and that his friend is leaving the bar. Anticlimax!
Update 12:21 am: Lots of folk now following the drama on Twitter. One mentioned that “seanpower” is trending in Montreal.
The bar where the laptop is — Oficina Latina, on Prince near Elizabeth — is practically on the same block as Gawker (another reason to be suspicious).
Power, who is in Canada and monitoring his laptop remotely, supposedly has two friends now in the bar — a woman who is hitting on the bartender, and a guy who is “making friends.” Again, the hoax element weighs heavy.
If this is a marketing stunt, it’s working: “seanpower” is now trending in Canada.
Meanwhile, Power reports that his thief has walked out of the bar, and he’s asking his friends not to follow. Still feeling very suspicious here.
Update 12:44 am: Power says he is going to call the man who has his laptop. People at Twitter seem to be waiting with bated breath. Or is this where the hoax is revealed?
Another reason I’m suspicious: @nickreese hasn’t tweeted a thing after reporting that he was 3 blocks from the restaurant. When he got there, did he realize he’d been had?
Update 1 am: OK, gotta call bullshit at this point. Oficina Latina is located in perhaps the most Twitter-heavy part of the most Twitter-heavy city in America. Really hard to believe that dozens of people wouldn’t be there by now, telling us what’s going on at the scene.
Power says he has “imminent news” coming. Get ready for the reveal, suckers.
Update 1:17 am: So Power says that his mysterious non-Twitter friend — a girl in a purple sarong (nice touch) — has the bag and all is well. He’s now getting congratulations from people on Twitter who are all going to go out and sign up for the tracking software. How convenient.
Well, we don’t believe it for a minute, but we’ll let some other reporters who have had adequate sleep track down Power and Reese and the “girl in the purple sarong” tomorrow to see if any of this was real.
Update 9:30 am: As you can see in the comments below, Sean Power is sticking by his story. And you have to see this video, if for no other reason than to see perhaps the most annoying woman in the world, the “girl in the purple sarong.”
Update, Friday evening: Thank goodness, someone else does the heavy lifting to figure out what was up with all this nonsense (I simply couldn’t be bothered: “Prey” has already received enough attention).
Washington Post writer Melissa Bell does a beautiful job by getting ahold of Paolo Votano — the man pictured above using Power’s laptop — and getting him to admit that yes, he did return the computer to Power’s friends. He claimed that he found Power’s bag lying around at his restaurant. (Shya right.) And he then stripped off the stickers on Power’s laptop and painted it, well, why exactly?
“It was a mistake to use it and I ruined the cover,” but he said [he] gave it back with all the money and documents as soon as the crime-fighting duo came to claim it.
Well, we are relieved to hear that Sean really did lose his laptop and really did retrieve it, and we apologize for ever doubting his story.
But one thing we will not budge on: the “girl in the purple sarong” remains the most annoying woman of all time.