Jose Caceres said he used a remote access program to log on every day and watch his computer being used, and then tipped off police, leading to the arrest of a 34-year-old male suspect.
Caceres, 27, of White Plains, said his computer was stolen in early September when he left it on top of his car while carrying things into his home.
His first efforts to figure out who stole the laptop by logging on remotely were stymied, Caceres said. "It was kind of frustrating because he was mostly using it to watch porn," he said. "I couldn't get any information on him."
But then the suspect typed in a name and address to register on a Web site, and a few hours later, police caught the suspect.
The man was charged with grand larceny, said police Lt. Eric Fischer in Wednesday editions of the Journal News.
Tech-savvy victims are increasingly supplying police with information leading to arrests, authorities said. In May, a White Plains woman whose laptop was stolen also used remote access technology to sign on, then activated the stolen computer's camera and snapped pictures of the man using it.
"This is what happens when you have victims who get involved and use the available technology to their advantage," said Fischer, commander of the White Plains police detective division.