ISP can’t trace 3g modem IP to user?

IP Address Questions and AnswersCategory: IP QuestionsISP can’t trace 3g modem IP to user?
Dave1981 asked 3 years ago

Hello everyone,

after having a laptop stolen, I have been able to obtain several IP addresses via DropBox after the thief has been using the computer. I have IP addresses and time of log-on.

The police informs me they are told by the ISP, that the IP addresses are dynamic and allocated to a 3g user, which means they can't trace the user.

I think this is highly surprising, as any ISP surely would know to which 3g account a given address has been allocated. But I am no expert - does anybody have input on this?

All the best,


1 Answers
Shnerdly Staff answered 3 years ago

Thanks for your question Dave1981.

If the thief is using the hardware that was on the laptop when it was stolen, the user and MAC address would trace back to you.

If the 3G device is not yours but the thief's, the police should be able to lookup the owner of the device through the log files at the ISP. Just as your text messages and calls are logged for your bill, so is the IP address you had at any given time. Also, many 3G devices are GPS enabled so they will also record your approximate location at the time.

Sometimes the police won't go to the effort unless there is something larger at stake. I would suggest contacting a local city or county prosecutor to find out why the police won't track the thief.

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