iJacking reaches LA

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.””

Rest of the story is here but it’s great to hear he got his machine back. When this started happening in SF, Phillip Torrone had a few suggestions to keep in mind:

“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.

4 Replies to “iJacking reaches LA”

  1. Dano – I couldn’t agree with you more. Theives in LA know that most people aren’t armed and even more are afraid of confrontation. If they didn’t know if you had a gun or not, chances are they wouldn’t be ripping your laptop out of your hands.

  2. over-react much?

    spend $20 and buy a lock. lock your computer to something. the lock doesn’t have to be foolproof, just has to make your computer look harder to steal than the guy next to you.

    sucks to be the guy next to you, but hey, better that than you whip out your piece and have a nice showdown with the guy.

    use of deadly force in protection of property is NEVER acceptable – in law or under any reasonable code of ethics. my laptop is my life too, but then again, my actual life is more important than my laptop. And, I might add, more important than YOUR laptop. Likewise, your life is more important than my laptop.

    Of all the arguments I’ve heard in favor of personal gun ownership, this is, potentially, the absolute lamest.

  3. Who is over reacting now? I didn’t say shoot the guy as he’s running out of the shot with your laptop, I said if he thought there was a chance you had a gun he probably wouldn’t try to steal your laptop in the first place. Criminals look for easy targets, people they know do not have guns are easier targets than those who might. That is my point.

    But since you brought it up, pulling out a gun because your laptop is being stolen changes the situation from you having a concealed weapon which I’m arguing the right for, to having an exposed weapon which a CCW does not cover. At that point it’s up to the police if you were acting within the law or not, something that anyone with a CCW knows because they have gone through the required training. Since the majority of the country now has shall issue laws, and those states haven’t turned into blood baths, and in fact crime is going down in all of them. There’s a very big difference between owning a gun and shooting anyone who looks at you wrong.

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