Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Delhi, India, Police use Google to Catch a “Super Thief”

This should be a warning: be careful what is posted online about you, be it good news or bad news. A thief who only targeted houses in the affluent south Delhi neighbourhoods was arrested on Monday after police used Google search to identify him.

Siddharth Mehrotra, 27, allegedly told his interrogators that he only targeted the houses of politicians, bureaucrats, government officers and businessmen. His victims include an ex-MP and a sub-divisional magistrate, said police. Since February this year, Mehrotra had burgled 18 flats in the wealthy suburb of Vasant Kunj, all of them located on the ground floor as they allowed him to get away easily if detected. On a few occasions, Mehrotra’s image had been captured by CCTV cameras.

Though his face was clear in the footage, there was no way the police could identify him. What followed was two weeks of laborious Google search that simply involved typing hundreds of relevant keywords in the hope that any news related to him would carry his photo and help establish his identity. He was identified after police found news reports of an earlier arrest of Mehrotra for crimes that were similar in nature. Police then used Facebook to find his current whereabouts.

You can read more in the Hindustan Times web site at:

An intelligent thief would be a bit more careful at hiding his tracks (especially on Facebook!) and changing his habits. Then again, who ever heard of an “intelligent thief?”

Categories: Legal Affairs, Online Privacy & Security

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