It was only matter of time before iJacking, the trend where thieves steal laptops from folks at coffee shops – while they are using them, made it’s way to LA. This has been happening for a few months in San Francisco, and one guy was even stabbed for fighting back, but this morning is the first LA case I’ve heard of. Josh was at Starbucks in South Pasadena working on his laptop when a guy grabbed it out from in front of him and started running, as anyone who might have their whole life on their machine might do, he gave chase:
“The only thing going through my head was that I couldn’t let him get out of my sight.
A few steps and another gangster came running out of Starbucks behind me, blue tattoos all up his neck. He was chasing me, and I was chasing my life, down a sunny residential street.
The guy with my laptop hit the corner; I was right behind him. There was a brand-new (SUV) parked there with two more shaved-headed cholos.
I was screaming, “Give it to me! I’ll give you money!”:
The guy behind me wanted into the car so they could take off. But he thought money sounded like a good idea. He said, “give us the money.” I said, “I don’t have any on me, but I’ll get it.” He got in, took the laptop from the guy who’d stolen it. “Give me the money and I’ll get it back for you.””
“Some solutions – Laptop locks, chain your stuff so someone can’t take off with it, and there’s also this application, but I’m not sure it will stop anything. My Powerbook is laser etched, so it’s not valuable as a resale – no one would want this on their laptop but me. Lastly, encrypt / backup, a lot, but you’re doing that anyway right?
All these are good, and as Josh proved putting up a fight increases your chances a lot. These guys are looking for an easy mark, don’t make it easy for them. The harder you make it, the less attractive you look, and the more chance they will just give up on you and try the next person.