Engineering student attempts to aid campus with anti-theft software

Arfath Mohammad, mechanical engineering graduate student, hopes to work with Wichita State administration and police to make thieves afraid of stealing on campus.

“When you lose things you can’t do anything,” he said. “It’s very hard to know who has stolen that particular thing.”

Mohammad created an anti-theft management software, which he calls Dev-O-Theft, in order to combat the thievery of phones, tablets, laptops and other electronic devices at WSU. The software works on both smart phones and laptops and has more than 10 functionalities, two of which allow the user to lock or find the location of the stolen device.  

“I made it very simple so that everyone can use it,” Mohammad said.

In the case of a laptop theft, the victim would first report the theft with their cellphone or the nearest computer, and then would be given remote access to their stolen property, assuming they entered their device’s data into Mohammad’s Dev-O-Theft database beforehand. Afterward, the victim can turn on a theft alarm in their stolen device, take a picture with the camera on the stolen device or retrieve their lost files.

Mohammad said he wants the potential thieves to be dissuaded from stealing due to fear of having their picture taken with the stolen device.

Ever since communication instructor Eric Wilson had his MacBook Air stolen out of his office in Elliott Hall, faculty has been more cautious, he said.

“All the faculty lock their doors when they leave,” Wilson said.

Wilson said he will be interested to see if Mohammad’s software is any different than the Find My iPhone application, but he thinks the software is a great idea as it could give people another useful resource.

Mohammad created his anti-theft software in two weeks and it is ready to be used. Next, his plan is to get in contact with the University Police Department or WSU administration in order to implement his software on campus.

Jibo He, assistant professor of psychology, said Mohammad has worked with him in his Google Glass development group. He said he thinks Mohammad will have difficulty moving forward and getting the administration and students to use his anti-theft software.

“I think the biggest issue is trust,” He said. “People first need to trust Arfath so he can help them.”

Despite the issues Mohammad faces with getting trust from the university, He said he thinks Mohammad’s Dev-O-Theft is a good idea.

“Many companies have such a need,” He said, “There is a practical need for his product.” 

Mohammad said he wants to offer his product for free.

“I think that safety is a right of everyone and nobody should be made to pay for being safe,” Mohammad said.

His next project involves getting videos of thefts in progress by activating computer webcams.

“Whatever technology there is I want it to be used in a constructive manner,” Mohammad said.