A North London man who had his Apple Mac laptop stolen from his flat in February has managed to trace the device to Tehran using a special tracking software he installed before the theft.

Graphics designer Dom Deltorto received an email from the Hidden App that was installed on his Macbook Pro informinghim that the stolen equipment had turned up at a family’s house in Tehran in Iran. The app even sent pictures of the family using the Mac using the laptop’s built-in camera.

Deltorto reported the incident to the police but they said it was unlikely that anything could be done about the theft as it was outside their jurisdiction.

After that, Deltorto begun a blog and posted images sent from the laptop online. Since then, the new owners got in touch to tell him that they had bought the laptop in innocence.

The Iranian family was said to be “mortified” after picture of them being spied on went viral. Deltorto apologised and has told the family that he doesn’t want the Macbook back as he is unlikely to get it back from Iran.

“It seemed to me that a laptop that went missing from London and turned up in Iran was like a space probe landing on a distant planet and beaming back proof of intelligent life,” he said.

He said he set up the blog to amuse friends, who then posted picture online via social networks.

“The safety and wellbeing of private individuals is more important than any possession, although I still miss my laptop I do not wish ill on anyone,” said Deltorto.

“The innocent new owners of my laptop have been in touch and are mortified about the story and are keen to return the laptop.”

“Given the huge error of judgement on my part in sharing the story and failing to respect their privacy I have asked them to keep it by means of an apology.”

Deltorto also had an iPad stolen. This has yet to surface.