How One Man Convinced Apple to Help Cops With Stolen Mac: Tweet the CEO

A N.H. man says Apple CEO Tim Cook helped catch the thief who stole his MacBook.

April 10, 2014— -- Michael Witonis of Dover, N.H., found the secret to ultimate Apple tech support after his MacBook Air was stolen: tweet Apple CEO Tim Cook.

The project supervisor for a tech company said his laptop was stolen from his home in February 2013, five months after he bought the newfangled device, as first reported by ABC affiliate WMUR.

Witonis reported to the police the stolen laptop, which was the only belonging stolen that night while he and his wife were sleeping, he said.

Then last June, he said he received a mysterious email from Apple thanking him for a call to tech support.

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When he called Apple, he said the tech support staff person informed him that someone had called about a laptop with his serial number, but he was told law enforcement would have to call the company for more information.

"That was the start of an eight-month battle with Apple to get the information from them," Witonis told

Witonis said Apple responded to two subpoenas by only confirming the request for information, explaining that the company has an internal process for cases like his.

A spokesman for Apple said he could not comment about specific customers but confirmed that the firm has measures in place to cooperate with law enforcement.

Then Witonis said he decided to try a tactic he had seen successfully applied to customer complaints to airlines and other companies: the power of social media. He tweeted Apple CEO Tim Cook twice.

The first Tweet was sent on Oct. 10. Then on Feb. 25, he tweeted fewer than 140 characters to Cook about his predicament.

As Witonis tells the story, "Within a day, a guy at Apple executive customer relations called me back," followed up by an email.

"Within five days of me getting a call, they come to the conclusion that they were going to give the detective whatever information he needed," Witonis said, adding that "within two hours" of the Dover police receiving this information, they were able to confirm or track down the alleged thief, Casey Wentworth.

Wentworth could not be reached for comment by and it is not clear if he has an attorney.

Lt. Brant Dolleman said the Dover Police Department contacted Apple for assistance in locating the stolen computer and that detectives were eventually able to trace that customer service call to Wentworth, who was arrested on Monday. He was released on $1,000 personal recognizance bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on May 2, police said.

When asked if Wentworth voluntarily confessed to the theft, Dolleman said that the case continues to be an active investigation.

As for Witonis, he said he still hasn't received his MacBook Air because it's in police custody as evidence. Though he said police told him "it's pretty beat up."

He's glad there is some resolution to his missing laptop, and he said he hopes Apple is able to assist customers in future situations more expediently.

"I guess moving forward, if other people don’t have to deal with it, that would be good," he said.