Having your laptop stolen is something you constantly hope will never happen. There are well known applications that can assist in recovering your computer if you subscribe to them. Ones that come to mind are Lojack and Orbicule, though I think the latter is only available for the Mac.
Fortunately, there is also a free application that is very good. It is available at preyproject.com. You can track up to three devices with the free version. It can be configured to take screenshots, photos using the built-in web cam, hide, lock or delete specific information on the computer etc. If configured, it can use the nearest Wifi system to report back the computer location. I installed it and did a quick test.
I went to the site and in the control panel set my laptop as missing. It brought back a report with the information I had configured it to retrieve including the photo of the person using the laptop. Although it is a free product, I may sue them since I was not impressed by the fact that they had not photoshopped my photo before shocking me with it.
It is well worth spending a few minutes to install it on your laptop or phone. It works on Windows, Mac and Linux computers as well as Android phones. I have both Windows and Linux installed on this laptop. On Windows, the program will not run unless someone is logged in to the computer but in Mac and Linux, logging in isn't required. I will set up the program to work with both Windows and Linux.