Data Visibility & Protection Endpoint Security Education

Absolute Investigations August Roundup: Device Recovery Success Stories

August 25, 2021

3 Min Read

Part of a laptop’s attraction is its portability. This is particularly true today with the rise in remote work and distance learning. The challenge, though, is for IT teams to keep track of growing device fleets no matter where the laptops go. And in many cases, they are traveling further from their home networks than ever before. According to the Absolute Endpoint Risk Report: Education Edition, 47% of K-12 devices in spring 2021 were located more than 25 miles from their school district.

To help organizations maintain visibility and control over their devices and the data that resides on them, Absolute customers rely on a firmware-embedded endpoint defense platform with an undeletable digital tether to every endpoint – no matter where it is – and the ability to lock, freeze, or wipe the device if it falls into the wrong hands.

They also have the support of the Absolute Investigations Team. Having years of experience working with law enforcement, their work has resulted in many device recoveries. Here are a few of the most recent highlights.


Auto Thefts

A laptop was stolen from a department of education employee’s car. Once Absolute Investigators were notified, they were quickly able to locate the laptop’s new location and user, and provided this information to local police. Detectives retrieved the device but soon thereafter, the new user provided police with proof of purchase from a nearby computer store so, unusually, police gave the device back to the user. Absolute Investigators again got involved and let police know the device never should have been for sale in the computer store – it was stolen merchandise. Police again retrieved the device from the now-disappointed new user and returned it to the department of education.


A logistics company in the country of Panama reported to Absolute Investigators the theft of a company-owned laptop during the break-in of an employee’s car. A few days later, the stolen device connected to the internet and Absolute provided local police with the new location and user contact information. Detectives contacted the new user’s parents, who explained how they purchased the device. The computer has since been recovered and detectives are following up on leads pertaining to the seller.


Good Samaritans

A teacher in a New York school district retired and included his school-issued laptop in his neighbor’s trash pile when he cleaned out his house and moved away. Finding the laptop before the trash haulers did, the neighbor retrieved the device and contacted Absolute. Investigators took the call and asked that the neighbor mail back the machine, which she did. Investigators are in possession of the laptop and are currently sorting through the thousands of New York schools to find the laptop’s rightful home.


School Theft

A school district in Texas informed Absolute Investigators of a student-reported stolen laptop. It was determined the new user was a 7-year-old child in Chicago and this information was passed along to Texas police. Absolute remotely froze the device and added a message to the child’s parents asking them to contact authorities. The father, in Texas, explained the laptop was purchased from an ex-school district employee and had traveled with his child and the child’s mother to Chicago. He retrieved and returned the device to Absolute and police are looking into the former school district employee.


Also read: Absolute Investigations July Roundup


For more than 15 years, Absolute Investigations has helped organizations recover their stolen devices. Made up of former law enforcement professionals and other experts, Absolute Investigations uses forensics tools and techniques to locate devices at large and once found, they connect with local law enforcement to orchestrate their safe return. Learn more here.


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