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Copying Harddrives by Police Agencies


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#1
mkplmr79

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I have a question and I want to see if anyone can answer it. My nephew used my computer to attempt to order stereo equipment with a stolen credit card. He used my mother's address, my mother's name and my phone numbers. The police questioned me about it and determined I had committed the crime and that my nephew did not exist. I had recently moved ot this town. My web address did not change ( example: [email protected]) but my phone number did. I moved to another county. I had DSL through AT&T I now have hi-speed cable. I got my nephew to admit he did it and he wrote a statement and mailed it to the police. He even called the police and spoke to them. They still indicted me and have not even attempted to locate my nephew. My nephew is unsure which computer he used (I own three). The police searched all three hard drives and were able to recover evidence that someone had used this computer and the credit card that was reported stolen. One of the computers, the one I believe my nephew used, was in another county at the time of the crime, being used for business. My nephew said that when he used the computer it was at my home in the neighboring county, even though I had already transferred service, the computer was being used at father-in-law's home, just by plugging it into the modem there. My question is this: Can the police can tell exactly where that computer was when it was used to commit this crime? If so, how? If they cannot, they have no case. My nephew refuses to testify and he has left the State to live with his mother, to avoid prosecution. He was sixteen at the time and the police think I had him lie for me because he is a juvenile. They still insist on prosecuting, even though no property was obtained, they can't put me at the computer, the computer was not password protected and they recovered nothing but the website where my nephew ordered the equipment. Please help me.
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#2
ScHwErV

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I'm not sure what you are asking for help with. Were computer geeks, we fix computers. I don't know of anyone here who has a law degree. You need a lawyer, not someone who can fix your computer.
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#3
mkplmr79

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My question is this: Can the police tell where the computer was located, i. e.; which county/jurisdiction, when it was used to commit this crime? My argument is this: They can't if the computer was being used in another county. Let me know what you think.
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#4
BHowett

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Yes they can…. They can track it to an exact location through the IP Address/service provider used during the sale with the stolen card. The only thing that gets a little shady at that point is if there is a wireless set up at that location with no password protection on the line, but that’s not something you will be able to use on your behalf, because you all ready said

“The police searched all three hard drives and were able to recover evidence that someone had used this computer and the credit card that was reported stolen. One of the computers,”


Bottom line… like ScHwErV all ready said; you need a lawyer not a geek :)
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#5
TechRook

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I am a police officer in Massachusetts and my answer to your question is yes, we can find the exact location of a computer. I know this because I specifically deal with recovering stolen computers, mostly laptops. All of the recovered computers have computrace on them, and it is activated. (Big Thumbs Up to them by the way; not spamming :) )

From my experience, if you(or yor nephew) bought something online with a stolen credit card, the detective in charge of the case would simply get an administrative subpeona from the vendor for the IP address that made the purchase, with the date and time of course. Once returned, then another subpeona would be filed to the ISP to find the account's owner. The date and time is needed because most of these ISP's like Verizon, Comcast, ATT, etc. have dynamic IP addresses, so date and time is crucial.

There is always the possibility of a wireless network being used, however, I still believe probable cause existed to obtain a Search Warrant for your home, and your computer. If they then find that credit card info, and any files associated with the purchase in question, there is even more to pursue a complaint charge.

I can't speak inteligently about the exact curcumstances of your case, or what the detectives have for evidence, but it seems as if you are in a bit of a jam. The police have some evidence, and seem to want to move foward. At this point, I can only advise you about your Miranda Rights(You know, your right to remain silent) and to contact a Criminal Defense Attorney. Just because you are charged with a crime, doesn't mean the State has a strong case against you. So at this point, stop worrying about county lines, and whether or not they can actually prove your PC was the one where the card was used, because most likely they can, and just call a Criminal defense attorney, because thats what you need right now. Good Luck with everything.
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#6
Jonesey

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And the moral is - DON'T let other people use your pc, certainly not your logon.
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