Detectives Recover TCC Student's Stolen Laptop

Tuesday, February 12th 2013, 7:24 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa burglary detectives recovered the stolen laptop belonging to a TCC student we told you about last week.

Tasha Powell and her family used tracking software to track that computer to seven different locations in Tulsa.

Detectives found it at a south Tulsa hotel.

Powell is a digital media major and works two jobs to put herself through college.

She's had a roller coaster of a week. First, she was devastated when her stuff was stolen out of her car, but then she was thrilled when police called with good news.

Powell was devastated when she learned her new Macbook was stolen, containing all her photographs and music, along with her clothes and flash drives holding all the work she's done for class.

2/5/2013 Related Story: Tulsa Student Says Thieves Stole Flash Drives Containing Hours Of Work

She had installed software to find her phone and laptop, in case they were ever stolen, and sure enough, whenever someone turned on her laptop, she could track it fairly close.

First, Powell tracked it to an apartment complex and detectives knocked on eight doors, but had no luck.

"I was really discouraged," Powell said. "I kind of felt, ‘Okay, maybe at this point, I should just drop hope of getting or seeing it again.'"

But her mom and brother didn't give up. Every time it pinged a new location, they called police. They reported a total of seven different locations; a house, a highway, and, finally, a south Tulsa hotel. That's where detectives found it.

"Just the best joy to feel. I even had goose bumps, just to know that there was hope," Powell said.

Detectives showed the suspect's picture to Powell to see if she recognized the person, but she didn't. We're not showing or naming the suspect until police get a warrant, for fear the person will get spooked and dump the rest of Powell's things, if they still have it.

Detectives are pleased with this first step.

"It always feels great. One of the great joys of my job is being able to return people's property to them," said Detective Brandon Bennett.

Powell hopes once police find the suspect they'll also find her flash drives that contain her irreplaceable work.

"I really will pray for my flash drives and I'll be happy with that," Powell said.

She said she is glad to have a computer to use for class and homework again.

Police will let us know if they recover any more of her stuff, and they have these recommendations for everyone to follow: don't leave anything of value in your vehicle, back up all your important documents and files and store them elsewhere, and install tracking software on your devices.