App tracks, snaps photos of people using lost and stolen phones

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A new app called Prey Project is helping people recover their stolen phones and laptops. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A new app called Prey Project is helping people recover their stolen phones and laptops. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Prey Project is free to download and register. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Prey Project is free to download and register. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The program works with any operating system. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The program works with any operating system. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Ed Kennedy installed Prey Project before his laptop got stolen. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Ed Kennedy installed Prey Project before his laptop got stolen. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

An app designed to locate lost or stolen phones, tablets and computers is growing in popularity around the world.

A Phoenix man was able to use Prey Project to find his laptop, which was stolen in a home burglary.

Ed Kennedy works for an IT company called Avisolve.

"We're always talking to our clients, about how they're going to secure their assets and make sure their data is safe," Kennedy said.

He installed Prey Project a month before his computer was stolen.

At first, the app sent Kennedy signs that someone had his computer.

"I saw trickles of hope. The reports told me the battery had been recharged. The laptop was out there somewhere," Kennedy said.

Prey Project's full features are only available when the device is connected to the internet.

"I waited a month for someone to connect to WiFi," he said.

That day came, and the app sent Kennedy all the clues he needed.

The report gave him the GPS location of the computer, along with a photo of the person using it, taken from his webcam.

Kennedy called the police, gave them the Prey Project printout, and the officer was able to use it to retrieve his stolen laptop.

The woman who had it, a few miles away, said she bought it online.

In addition to the address and photos from both cameras on a phone, the app sends screen shots and allows the owner to lock the device if desired.

Users can also send a message to the screen of the device, if, for instance, it's lost and found somewhere.

Prey Project is free to download and register. A monthly subscription unlocks additional features and allows for many more devices to be tracked.

The program works with any operating system.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Jared DillinghamJared anchors the weekend newscasts at 5, 6, 9 and 10pm on both 3TV and CBS5. He also reports during the week for both stations.

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Jared Dillingham

Over his decade in Phoenix, Jared has worked all shifts at 3TV, including a yearlong stint anchoring the weekend morning show.

Since 2007, Jared has covered everything from Senator John McCain's campaign for president, to the Jodi Arias trial, to the largest wildfire in Arizona history.

Jared grew up in New York, and graduated from Syracuse University with degrees in broadcast journalism and political science.

After internships at News12 Long Island and NBC in Washington, DC, Jared moved to beautiful "Big Sky Country." He spent a year at KRTV in Great Falls, Montana, before moving to KREM in Spokane, Washington.

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