A university student tracked an alleged internet conman through message boards and chatrooms until he found enough evidence to get the police involved.
Eric Smith, an undergraduate at the University of New Orleans, was determined to find the person who bought his Apple laptop on eBay with a bogus cheque.
All he had was a mobile phone number, an email address and a street address that turned out to be nothing more than a mail drop.
But by posting the information on internet message boards and chat rooms, Smith got responses from more than 100 fellow Macintosh users.
According to Associated Press, his web helpers found information on the phone number and discovered that a Los Angeles resident had been similarly swindled.
Because law enforcement agencies didn't want to get involved, Smith decided to trap the man by using his girlfriend's eBay account to set up another computer sale and stake out the buyer.
This time the man told him to send the computer to an address in the town of Markham, where police were glad to help.
Melvin Christmas, 38, was apprehended and charged with two counts of forgery. A police spokesman said that Smith had made the arrest very easy.
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