This girl has my macbook air

New Updates: CASE SOLVED! The thief is in police custody. This courageous woman named Sydney read a news article about my case on SFWeekly this morning and spotted this person walking down the street in the financial district. She followed her into a Starbucks. The suspect sat without ordering anything and started to find her next prey. This heroine called the police and waited at the coffee shop until the police arrived. She showed them the video footage and got her arrested. The major twist to this story was the thief was actually a male. He did identify himself as a transgender though. But according to the description I got from Sydney, he seems more of a guy than a girl. He had multiple fake identifications so the police had to take him down to the police station to get his finger prints to ID him. He already had several prior felony charges and I believe one pending warrant issued out on him. Also through the process, some people have come forward and claimed that they were victims of this guy as well. If you suspect you had your belongings stolen at one point in the past by this guy, please email any evidence or your police case number to Let them know you would like to link your case to mine (my case number is 140281005).

Sydney’s Twitter is @spfff. Please give her a warm thank you for being such a hero.

And thank you all for sharing my story. You made it all happen. Please accept my sincere gratitude for being such a good force in this world.

I do not welcome any negative trolling on my blog as they only distract from the task at hand, which is to find this thief and stop her from stealing other people’s computers. So please be reminded, I will not approve the comments unless they are good-spirited or  useful. I feel as though a lot of trollers are putting blame on me as deserving to have my belongings stolen as I left unattended at a coffee shop. Some go as far as defending the thief. I wonder what kind of world we live in. You are called dumb if you dropped your guard a little at a public place and trusted your neighbors for 5 min. For those mean-spirited trollers’ wish I learned my expensive lesson and will not trust even “a cute blonde girl”. But because of those people who blame the victim in any sort of crime, the criminals slip under the radar and cause harm to the innocent people out there. And you will not know what it feels like to be blamed for being a victim of crime until it happens to you.

Also I have all my codes backed up. As I said, the lost intellectual property is my creative assets – Illustration/Photoshop files I recently created and other personal files I haven’t backed up. Please take your focus off of what I should/would/could have done and help me identify this wrongdoer. So that no one else has to fall victim to this bottom feeding scumbag bitch.

I am a freelance iOS developer and I use my MacBook Air everyday to do everything from design to coding. A complete tragedy happened to me yesterday. I had my virtual limbs stolen (aka my macbook air and iPhone). I was in tears literally. Tears of anger. It took less than a minute for me to lose  all the creative assets I stored on my machine. If you work at a coffee shop in the San Francisco downtown area, beware this can happen to you. I know I was stupid for leaving my belongings unattended, but I never suspected this would happen in broad daylight with so many people around.


So this is what happened.

I was working on my iOS app at a local coffee shop at Post st. and Taylor St. near Union Square in San Francisco.

coffee shop location

coffee shop location


(The date and time is 12 hours off as the owner of this coffee shop misconfigured the surveillance camera)

At April 4 3:20PM, this girl comes into the coffee shop.



She looks around to find her prey and found my computer very appealing.



She orders a latte which was about $5 and pays in cash. I have pretty clear shots of her face.



She sits in the sofa next to me and kept staring at me. Also she looks around a lot to find other preys in case mine fails. She does this for an hour.

thief_staring_at_prize thief_staring_at_prize



At 4:09PM, She asks the girl sitting at the window to watch her stuff while she goes to the bathroom!!! Ha!!!!






At 4:35PM, I go to the bathroom, leaving my macbook air and iPhone at the table. Her eyes follow the back of my head until she makes sure I go into the bathroom.



Seconds after I left to go to a bathroom, she stands up, comes around to my computer and waits there to make sure no one is looking.



She unplugs my computer and iphone.



She rushes to get out of the crime scene and walks out toward Unions Square/Powell Station.




61 thoughts on “This girl has my macbook air

    • Sorry but everyone should know Apple will NOT locate any lost or stolen Apple products under almost all circumstances. My partner had his MacBook Air stolen in January and we attempted to report it to Apple, but they have no method in place to track stolen items down. Kind of disgraceful, if you ask me.

      • Disgrace that Apple can’t track a stolen MacBook Air, or any other Mac or iOS deice for that matter?! I say haha! Everyone knows that the customer need’s to have Find My *Device activated with iCloud. Even then they system requires it be connected to a network, Cellular or Wi-Fi. The tools are there… use them, or use 3rd party options!

        And what other computer company is able to offer such effective tracking tools to the customer? I doubt even Samsung, ASUS, HP has any better options for tracking on behalf of the owner. So don’t ridicule, become a better user.

        • Apple does provide good tools but the fact that the device has to be connected to the Internet in order for the service to be useful is a major drawback. In my case, Find My Device rendered useless. Aside from that, I even called Apple and asked them to notify us if a computer with the same serial number comes in for service. They denied. I’m sure there’s some legal implications as to why they don’t want to be involved but the fact is Apple will be of no help in any ways when your Apple products are stolen.

          • Ahryun,

            Yea, I’m pretty sure that almost any company doesn’t want to get into the legalities of what “could” be messy. (Think of the implications of false reports, ownership battles, people trying to hide from abusers, etc.) I can understand the limitations of “Find My Device” for the MacBook Air (although that would be connected eventually) I’m curious why your iPhone wasn’t able to be found. Do you think the culprit turned off the iPhone right away? (I’m sure you’re keeping the search up though the iCloud account as it will notify you if they are back on the net, right?

          • …..ah, I read down a bit further. You had both turned off. Well, hopefully somebody will turn the iPhone on and it will pop up on your iCloud map. Good luck. I hope they are found soon.

    • Tracing was enabled. But it rendered useless in my case as both devices were off. The name of the cafe was not disclosed as I did not want any harm done to the cafe. I love that place and I still go there on a daily basis. This can happen anywhere and I did not want to give an impression that somehow this cafe is an easy target for crime, which is not true. Also the owner closed the store after midnight and spent several hours trying to get the video footage for me. Not all biz owners would do that for you, especially in fear of hurting their business.

  1. Amazing story and sorry for your lost.
    Do you have get this footage from the stores owner and show it to the police?

    Well it seems to me kind of strange to leave your stuff right there, but I don’t know the people in San Francisco. Anyway I would feel anger too, if somebody would stole my whole code. To integrate a automated frequently encrypted backup of my current working enviroment would’nt be a bad idea. If I ever turn out coding everywhere I go, this will be my system to avoid any lost of precious code. :D

    Greetings from Germany and good luck to find your thief.

    Coming from:

  2. You are living in a big city. Don’t trust anyone, even cute girls. Always bring your electronics with you whenever you go, especially expensive ones. I worked as a security agent in a mall and you see that kind of shit a lot of times.

  3. Did you file a police report? If you have the serial number they can enter it as a stolen item into a national database…might help.

  4. Sorry this happened to you, but leaving thousands of dollars of hardware sitting unattended in a downtown cafe was not a smart move.

  5. Too bad :(

    No help from find my Mac and find my iphone? (Despite the last bug that allows disabling them in iOS without password)

    I hope you had a full backup at least

  6. Shame on her!
    Well it’s a lesson for everyone to not trust and not leave your belongings behind you for a second.

  7. One thing you can say for sure – she’s not blonde. That’s most likely a wig, hence the need for a huge beanie covering her head. So if that’s a wig, then she’s hiding her true hair color, so she’s not blonde.

  8. So sorry for your loss. It’s “prey” not “pray”. I thought you should know.

    Hope someone can ID this… person. I’ve had two laptops stolen and it is the most invasive violation– hope you get it back and she goes to jail. What a piece of shit she is.

  9. I’m sorry this happened to you! You haven’t said, but, I’m assuming ‘find my iPhone’ or ‘find my mac’ aren’t working because the phone and laptop are off? I’m a cop in the east bay, if you get any leads, let me know and I’ll see what I can do

    • She was a pro. She immediately turned both devices off minutes after the crime. I did report this to both local police and Apple but they didn’t seem too interested. I’d really appreciate if you could give me some advice on what to do to get more attention from the police. Thank you so much.

  10. hey! saw this video shared on liveleak. just wanted you to know i posted an ad on craigslist lost and found ( i can edit it if you like, but i sure hope you catch this woman. my boyfriend had his backpack and macbook air stolen from john varvados in january and we’ve done everything we could to recover the laptop. equally frustrating situation, and while we didn’t recover his laptop, i sure hope you get yours back. i’m sure you’ve already activated find my iPhone, etc.

    best of luck!

    • Thank you for going out of your way to help me. I hope no one buys my MacBook and phone without knowing that they are stolen goods.

      • PS: I updated the ad to reflect that she was apprehended. I’m just glad this individual will no longer be able to victimize others! I still hope you get your laptop back though!

  11. I know this is too late for you right now but to anyone reading this story who wants to be a little more cautious, check out prey:

    It tracks your computers and phones, take screenshots, takes pics of those using your stuff, it’s open source and a few other things.

    But to the blogger here, did you ever set up any kind of screenshare, vnc, teamviewer or ssh? Is it possible to gain access to your laptop this way? If so, gather as much info as you can then go to the police. You might find this a little interesting:

  12. I’m really sorry for that terrible accident and I know how angry and frustrated you feel. Unfortunately I had a similar experience 6 months ago and I must say I really wanted to cry. I know there is no enough words to cheer you up or make it feels better but don’t let this stops you and look to the bright side here, you will be more careful int the future.

    I hope that girl gets arrested and I really hope you will get your “virtual limbs” back.

  13. I am sorry for your loss. As someone who has worked in a community center for over four years, let me tell you, people will steal ANYTHING. For this reason I never take my expensive laptop out in public, I know this was probably crushing. Even with good video evidence you may never get it back. I take a bookbag everywhere with me and I always pack my belongings into it, even when I go to the bathroom. The thing to take note of here is that the person who stole your belongings was WAITING for someone to do this exact thing. Cars, wallets, purses, animals, etc. people don’t care, and as soon as no one is paying attention, it’s gone. Always always always take care of your things. Also at the end of the video, the person in the top right hand corner isn’t actually doing anything, maybe an accomplice?

  14. Report it to Apple and best wishes on finding your belonging. I do hope she gets caught, karma is a B! She’ll get it coming back to her! I’ll share this!

  15. What happened after that ?. is she caught and handed over to the police ? Curious to know the outcome of this detailed post

  16. Have you tried getting the story on local morning shows and news outlets? they love sympathy stories. I hope you find her and bring her to justice! I’m reposting this link everywhere!

    • I’m trying to reach out to as many local news channels as possible as well as CNN. Hopefully they find this story worth sharing. Thank you for your suggestion.

  17. Post reward flyers in every restaurant and bar within a 5 block radius. Someone will recognize her. Join every SF related group on facebook and post the screen capture of the incident with a reward. Graphic designers, photographers, web coders, app developers, artists, gamers, bloggers, will ALL be sympathetic and share!

  18. So you always leave a USD 1000-1500 in the public while going to the bathroom?

    I don’t mean to defend this thief but honestly it just isn’t smart to do that!

  19. Sorry for your Lost I know the feeling I got my Samsung S3 stolen too after leaving it on the counter while arms full with my son putting a straw in his lemonade and left and realized I left my phone on counter went back and it was gone! I shared your Post all I know is Karma is going to be a BITCH for that BIATCH! Pray you get it back.

  20. Hey I just read your story on Business Insider. I posted a link to the article on my Google+ page (27,000 followers). I hope they catch the woman and you get your property back. It’s a pity that there are people in this world who feel they deserve other people’s stuff.

  21. WTF man – this is SF not NYC. Blame the victim is never helpful.

    Is there any way to clear up the photos of her face? I agree the way she’s wearing that hat and scratching her head she is either wearing a wig or has lice.

    Also can you make a separate pic of her face that we can copy and paste? I would happily put it on my FB page and ask my SF peeps to keep an eye out for her.

    I hope you get your stuff back and she gets arrested. Only a scary punishment will stop this bitch.

    Good luck!

  22. I have heard of people in SF who have their electronic devices taken right out of their hands on buses and BART. The thief will grab it and then get out of the bus or train and disappear into the crowd. Extremely brazen, but it just goes to show you how desperate people are and you can never be too careful. I hope that your equipment and data is recovered.

  23. Im sorry for your lost. This should be a life lesson to never leave anything unattended. Even if u had to leave your laptop or phone unattended and its too heavy to carry inside the restroom. It’s best to carry it with your at all time. Never ever trust anyone you don’t know because your gonna attract thieves. I left my backpack unattended at SFPL Main Branch and my debit card was in there. I lost my homework and mathbook and I had a pretty good idea of who stole it too, but the stupid SFPl branch said they cant replay the security cameras; I should have called the police iono… I only got up to use the computer really quick and then all of a sudden bam she was gone. Luckily she got caught few days later and she was holding onto my debit card when she fought in Oakland Bart station. She made a purchase on it and bought a metro pcs using my card. I got my money reimbursed though, but still. I just take everything with me. It’s better safe then never. You can’t even trust the person next to you really..

    • I wasn’t expecting a black person. Just thought the thief is most likely a male. Such a prejudice I admit. When this girl turned out to be the culprit, my jaw dropped. She looks completely normal and friendly. Can’t trust people any more to be honest.

      • It can be both males and females, but males are just more bold and daring, some just don’t care since many probably has a history of robbing and stuff. the person that stole mines happened to be a female, but i wasn’t too sure, but the person who was caught holding onto my ID on bart was a female. But you just never know. I left stuff lying around and next thing you know its gone. Even a kid can be gone in a flash if you don’t look after them. Just have to be on the look out for everything…

  24. This was shared on a friends Facebook. Really hope you find it! Hopefully people will continue to share & she will be caught!

  25. wow…I can’t believe people would blame the victim for this happening. yes she could’ve been more careful but she didn’t do anything wrong by trusting the world. yeah def keep an eye out for that face. I study at coffee shops a lot too. luckily there are cameras in this shop. maybe you can try to contact medias to see if they would put this as a live news forecast.

    • Who in their right mind would leave a laptop and cell phone unattended in a coffee shop, a public place where people come and go quite frequently and in high volume, and expect it to be there when they return? How hard would it have been to stuff the laptop and phone into a bag and take it with her? Inconvenient? Sure. But look at how inconvenient the alternative was.

      Wishful thinking and misplaced trust won’t keep you or your stuff safe. People need to take responsibility for safeguarding themselves and their property.

  26. That’s awesome that the person was caught! It’s not clear from your update- did you get your property back?

    You sound like a great person and very trusting, I can understand some people come off rude by saying it’s your fault for leaving the macbook out in the open and walking away.. But in this day and age leaving thousands of dollars in electronics in a public place filled with people you don’t know is reckless. People are breaking into cars in parking lots when they see a phone/camera in the open, let alone out in the open at a coffee shop unattended.

    I hope you get your stuff back- and I hope that thief gets what is coming to him.

    • It’s not the rudeness that made me upset. It’s that people who can talk all day about what I should’ve done were flooding the comments section everywhere that I couldn’t easily find comments with useful tips on who the thief may be. It was finding a needle in a haystack. That’s why I asked people not to focus on a list of things why I was dumb, stupid and naive and focus on finding the thief. Also rubbing it in my sore spot was not helping me in anyway when I was going nuts trying to figure out how to get my computer back. For a drastic example, if your negligence led to losing your child, wouldn’t your only objective at that time be finding your kid? People who whisper in your ears “It’s all your fault. You deserved to lose your kid. Who wouldn’t take your kid if you let him loose?” do not help in anyways. Sorry I am being a bit over dramatic. But it was very very stressful with thousands of people who seemed to believe I deserved to have my computer stolen because I was careless. That was not helping me and was rather hindering my quest to retrieve my computer. So that was why I left that paragraph up there. Hope you understand.

  27. I’m not sure that’s a woman. You might want to revise your post to be less specific. To me the outfit looks like a disguise — fake boobs (as in stuffed), loose shirt to hide body shape, hair that wraps around to hide neck, ears and part of cheeks. Black leggings would help the illusion. Plus the hands and some movements are masculine, although s/he is playing a female role. Point is, it could be a woman in disguise, but could also be a dude with a face that can pass as female.

    • It turned out to be a person whose gender I cannot be sure of. The lady who caught him/her said he/she turned out to be a guy. However, the police I spoke with said the thief identified himself/herself as a transgender. But he/she had so many fake ids and no one could be sure who he/she was. But anyhow, you do have hawk’s eyes to have noticed it was not a girl. Crazy!

  28. Just noticed that I followed a link on a news site to your initial post, not realizing you’d already solved the case. Oops. Happy ending anyway. :)

  29. Amazing story, good for you. Too many people let these people walk over them.
    You worked hard to get where you are. Don’t let these people just take it from you.

    • More people are coming forward and telling me they got their belongings stolen by this guy. One person has a video footage of this guy in another criminal action. Hope the DA gives him max jail time possible.

      • Don’t bet on the SF DA doing anything but a slap on the wrist, possibly not even that. It’s why I can’t stand Democrats or the left in SF. They will “feel sorry” for the transgender that did this to you, and nothing will happen. SF lets cop killers out too.

    • Where did you find it?

      Oh.. I guess it’s the first thing that pops up when you Google his full name. Wow… Crazy.. Thank you for the info.

  30. Someone I know had a similar loss. (Actually, a thief smashed in his door & stole his MacBook.)

    First line of defense is to notify the police, fill out the paperwork, etc. Ask them to help.

    Second is what you’re doing: involve your friends and sympathetic community people (who ALSO have an interest in not having property ripped off, despite a few know-it-alls blaming you for the loss). But not just making friendly noises on blogs: get them to search CraigsList, eBay and other sources.

    The machine I got involved with — the owner was traveling — had Prey Project software on it that ID’d the location and photo’d the user. That was not enough; there’ve been false arrest cases on poached wifi nets. But it helped discover when the machine went onto CraigsList. Some savvy “potential buyer” requests were able to confirm the serial number, and after a couple of missteps and my involving a pol who worked with the police, the guy who bought it from the original fence and tried to flip it, got busted for possession of stolen property and the computer came home.

    Not simple, and no satisfaction of ANY idea of who the original thief was, or any charges against the fence. But a little dagger into the economics of theft/resale. A sour taste that “minor” property theft isn’t worth cops’ time without pulling rank. But maybe the SF cops, if equipped with enough evidence, will give you a bit more help, and you’ll get results even if you don’t know anybody at City Hall.

    Inform your friends. Get ‘em going. Good luck.

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