How I Caught a Counterfeiter with a Little Help from my Friends tells the story of a scammer buying macs with counterfeit checks and how he got caught.
He emailed me a new address and phone number, the phone number again traced back to the same address for Mr. Christmas. I called the Secret Service and the Chicago PD, pleading, all they had to do was be there when Fedex dropped off the package. It was a guaranteed hit, he'd have another counterfeit cashier's check, all you'd have to do is arrest him. Like shooting fish in a barrel. "Sorry, Detective McDonaugh will be out until next Wednesday, can I take a message?" Fine, if the cops won't do it, I decided I'd just Priceline a ticket and be waiting next door when it got dropped off. So I'd know what kind of neighborhood I was looking at, I asked for help again in the Mac boards. Two Chicago residents replied, and the next morning, courtesy of Tim, I had 23 pictures of the house, the cars in the driveway (with license plate numbers) and the neighborhood. I'd like to see a Dell user do something like that at 4:30 in the morning for a complete stranger a thousand miles away.
... and it has a happy ending involving a more responsive gentleman from the local law enforcement.
update 2: There's also this story about a guy tracking down a stolen iMac with Timbuktu and AppleScript...