Wanted: Stolen Laptops" />
The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

the classic Hockaday saddle oxford
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November 30, 2023

Wanted: Stolen Laptops

In the past two months, three Hockaday students’ laptops have been stolen: two from parked cars just around the corner from Hockaday at the Chick- Fil-A on Inwood Road and the other from a student’s car parked in her own driveway.

When juniors Emily and Catherine exited Chick-Fil-A in mid-December after eating dinner there, they were shocked to see Emily’s car window smashed and their things taken.

“My window was smashed, completely broken and my backpack was stolen,”Emily said.

Emily was surprised to see her car broken into in such a public place.

“At first I couldn’t believe it and I was in shock. Then I realized that I was probably never going to get my stuff back so I was angry. I didn’t understand how someone could suddenly take it all away from me.”

Catherine was shocked as well, “You hear about things like that happening to people, being robbed and cars being broken into, but I never thought it would happen to me.”

Her next immediate thought was about the Junior Research Paper, that both she and Emily were in the midst of writing. Both had important files for their papers on their laptops. While Catherine was unable to recover a lot of the information, Emily was fortunately able to do so.

“I’d emailed a lot of my big papers to my teachers, so they were able to email those back to me, and I was able to save those,” Emily said.

And to make matters worse, Hockaday’s laptop tracking system wasn’t able to track their laptops.

Junior Chloe was more fortunate because her car wasn’t damaged and the police were able to trace it and return to her a month later.

Because her laptop was stolen over holiday break, she did not realize its absence.

“It didn’t really hit me until I got back to school,” she said, and although she didn’t freak out, she was frustrated about the work she would have to make up.

But she too lost her most recent drafts of her Junior Research Paper including all the edits made by her history teacher.

Almost exactly a month later Chloe received a call saying that her laptop had been traced and recovered from a man who had supposedly bought the laptop from  the person who had stolen it from Chloe’s car.

The police were able to track the laptop using the software installed on all Hockaday laptops called Computrace.

Computrace is a branch off of the company LoJack and only they can activate the program. The downside to the tracker is that the laptop must be logged on and connected to the internet in order to send out the homing signal which allows it to be located. The chances of the culprit turning on the laptop, let alone being able to log on, are slim, according to tech consultant Lee Haller.

Other programs exist for students to download on their own but would either require a monthly fee or use the same technology as Computrace and also require the computer to be logged on and connected to the internet.

Haller is certain, though, that as time progresses and technology advances newer laptops will have built in GPSs that won’t require the laptop to be connected to the internet.

To prevent stolen laptops, Haller recommends leaving backpacks and laptops in the trunk or where they cannot be seen from the windows. In the case the laptop is stolen the first step would be to call the police, get an official police report with the details of the crime and call Hockaday’s Head of Technology Richard Bradley to report the theft. He can then inform Computrace to begin tracking the laptop.

– Avita

One Lucky Laptop

“Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect,” says Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter’s quirky friend.

Sophomore Anna learned this lesson firsthand after leaving her Toshiba on the bus ride to Baylor University in Waco, Texas for an October 2011 Model UN conference.

Anna placed her laptop in the overhead bin and, exhausted from a long day of negotiating and debating, forgot to take the laptop with her after arriving back to Dallas.

By the time she realized her laptop was gone, she called the bus company, but it was too late.

“They said they couldn’t find it anywhere on the bus. I was really bummed out and I thought my laptop was gone for good, it’s never coming back,” Anna said. “I finally went to the tech and got a loaner.”

All was well for Anna, but it was about to get better.

“After I got my loaner, my brother texted me to ask if I had lost my computer on a bus,” Anna said. At first, she could not believe that laptop had actually been found.

“Well, I freaked out and called him immediately. He then explained to me that his football team used the same bus line I did to go to Dallas for a game,” Anna explained.

After Anna’s brother and his team finished their trip, the driver found the laptop while cleaning the bus.

“The bus company called the athletic board of the college my brother goes to and asked them if an Anna went to their school,” Anna said. “They contacted my brother about the laptop. He was a little confused at first , but then he started to put it together.”

After surviving for about a month without her Toshiba, Anna was finally reunited with it over holiday break.

“I guess I just got lucky,” Anna said. “Very, incredibly lucky.”

– Alexis

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