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Chamber president helps stop thieves

Tracking devices sped investigation


by:  ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Jordan Winthrop shows the preyproject website. Winthrop used Prey tracking software to help police recover his stolen laptop.

Don’t mess with the tech-savvy.

Estacada Chamber of Commerce President Jordan Winthrop was working late in West Linn on Thursday, Sept. 26.

He went out to retrieve something he’d left in his unlocked car. And although the car had been unattended for a short time, by the time he returned his wallet, cell phone, check book and other valuable items were gone.

Winthrop noticed people standing about a block away and almost gave chase, but upon realizing he was without a phone, thought better of it.

He went inside and called the police.

Winthrop realized he installed a “Find my iPhone” application on the phone just two days before while backing up photos with “iCloud.”

When Winthrop logged into his account. It showed that his phone was a block away where he’d seen the people standing.

Police officers called the phone.

The people must have dropped the phone and fled.

Winthrop said that officers had later told him they would not have found the phone without the tracking application.

But that wasn’t the only technological trick Winthrop had up his sleeve.

Winthrop had been testing Prey anti-theft and tracking software to determine whether or not to recommend it to customers of his NW Hi-Tech Solutions business in downtown Estacada.

He happened to be testing the software on the very laptop that was stolen.

Through the software, Winthrop was notified when the stolen laptop was turned on. The webcam took photos of a man using the computer in a “unique” apartment complex.

On Tuesday, Oct. 1 West Linn Police officers stopped transients Zachery Mayes, 35, and Haley Robertson, 19, for allegedly breaking into a car on 1500 block of Fifth Street of West Linn.

When police asked Mayes for identification, he presented them with Winthrop’s stolen wallet.

According to a news release issued by the West Linn Police Department on Oct. 1, police showed Robertson the photos taken from Winthrop’s stolen laptop.

She identified the man as Mayes’ brother, Clinton Mayes, who the two had stayed with on occasion.

Police were able to recover numerous items stolen from several people in Clinton Mayes’ apartment.

Zachery Mayes and Robertson were arrested on allegations of theft, unlawful entry of a vehicle and possession of methamphetamine.

According to the Oct. 1 news release, no charges were planned for Clinton Mayes.

“I’m very glad I was able to help catch them,” Winthrop said.

Winthrop, who feels “violated” by the incident, was returned his electronics and (now empty) wallet.

“The things that had the tracking devices were the things that were found,” he said.

Unsurprisingly, Winthrop highly recommends Prey anti-theft software.

Winthrop pointed out that people can go to preyproject.com to install tracking software on three devices for free.

For the less tech-savvy, NW Hi-Tech Solutions staff will install the software on customers’ computers for $25.

NW Hi-Tech Solutions is at 335 Broadway St. in Estacada.



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