Time it took for first report to arrive: A few months until I requested it.
Once received, time it took for police to recover it: 12 months.
Final thoughts:Very relieved I got my notebook back.
Full story below!
Moving In, Moving Out:
I lent my notebook to my sister in law, and eventually, asked her for it back. She was going through a move so we waited several months, but in the meantime I noticed a Prey report that said it was back online, so I knew something was up.
She insisted it was in a box somewhere, but after some time we determined that someone must have taken it because she had the case but not the computer. It came back online about a month ago, which reminded me that it was probably stolen.
So, when I saw it come online, I marked it as missing and was ready to call the police. I got a picture of the person using it, their IP, local routers, MAC address, and location. The location was 10 miles from here and that didn't make sense.
The routers suggested it was in the neighborhood, because the business center across the street came up. I took the IP and did a reverse-lookup and then called Comcast and had them open a case where they recorded the MAC address, time, and IP. They told me to get a police report and subpoena, and they would tell me who it was.
In the meantime I had circulated the picture in the neighborhood. To my astonishment, I got a call from my neighbor saying it was a relative of theirs that had moved into a home in our complex, and that they had bought this house furnished from a couple that had flipped their home a year ago.
Apparently, that was the home that my sister in law rented before they moved into our condo, when we bought a new house and moved out of the area.
She had left the computer in the rented home and it had stayed there over a year through two owners, who had been occasionally opening it and and that's why it had been sending reports to me.
I shared this story on Facebook with my friends suggesting that they try Prey software. I recuperated my notepad with personal information, which I was most concerned about, after a year.
I almost put an innocent person in jail as I was going through the process of identifying them and reporting it! This is amazing, I owe my ease of mind to Prey. Thanks so much!