Stolen computer snaps photos of alleged thief via remotely downloaded software

Suspect previously charged as habitual criminal

DENVER - A Denver man, with a long criminal history, is back behind bars after IT techs with NexusTek used remotely loaded software to snap photos of him using a stolen computer.

Nicholas Vaughn, 27, has been charged with theft, burglary and possession of burglary tools.

Court documents obtained by 7NEWS implicate Vaughn in a break-in at an apartment complex east of Cherry Creek Shopping Center.

Police say the suspect entered the building early in the morning on March 18, after using force to open a secured door.

Once inside, Vaughn allegedly stole four computers and some petty cash.

"He tried to take the TV off the wall, but he couldn't manage," said technician Uros Grasic.

Grasic told 7NEWS that he remotely loaded some special software onto one of the stolen computers.

"As soon as he logged in to one of the laptops, we were able to track him down and snap a few pictures from the computer camera," Grasic said. "We waited for him to put in some personal information so we could track him down."

The IT tech says Vaughn logged onto his Facebook account.

"That's how we got his real name and matched the photos," he said.

Police did the rest. They tracked Vaughn to an apartment complex near South Dahlia Street and E. Mississippi Avenue.

Court documents indicate that the remotely snapped photos of the suspect showed him in an apartment with concrete beamed ceilings and an air conditioner under the living room window.

Police canvassed the neighborhood looking for apartment buildings with those features.

The remotely snapped photos match the apartment where police made contact with Vaughn.

"For once, a social network and technology worked against a person," Grasic said. "I think it's wise for companies to have software loaded onto their equipment at all times."

This isn't the first time that Vaughn has been in trouble with the law.  He has previous arrests for burglary, theft and forgery.  He was also charged with being a habitual criminal in 2006, but that charge was dismissed.

Police said they suspect Vaughn in another burglary that happened in the same neighborhood March 18.

While investigating those burglaries, police learned about a warrant for Vaughn's arrest for parole violation.

His preliminary Hearing has been scheduled for April 29.

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