Data Visibility & Protection Endpoint Security

Absolute Investigations Device Recovery Success Stories Spring 2023

April 13, 2023

3 Min Read

An artist in London returned home from vacation to find his laptop had been stolen, and with it, hundreds of artworks in-progress. He’s offering a $1.2 million reward for its return. An Austrian  mountain biker had his laptop stolen while riding in South America and he is offering a $5,000 reward for the return of the photography footage stored on the laptop that he took while on the trip.

Sadly, laptops are stolen all the time. While the devices themselves have a price tag, it’s always the data that resides on them that costs the most. For an organization, the price tag on stolen data is exponentially higher when you consider the costly data security compliance fines that stem from data falling into the wrong hands.

When it comes to stolen laptops, Absolute customers have an important resource to lean on. The Absolute Investigations Team consists of former law enforcement officials who are trained to help navigate the circumstances of stolen property and recover stolen laptops. They rely on Absolute’s firmware-embedded Persistence® technology, enabling a permanent digital tether that intelligently and dynamically applies visibility, control, and self-healing capabilities to endpoints, applications, and network connections. No matter where it’s located, it is possible to swiftly lock, freeze, or remotely wipe a device if it falls into the wrong hands.

Here are a few of the investigator’s recent global recovery highlights:

Vehicle Burglaries

A laptop owned by a Canadian telecommunications company was stolen out of an employee’s car in late November last year and the company immediately notified Absolute investigators. Using forensic tools, investigators learned to the new user’s name and location also learned the new user was involved in credit card fraud. They notified local police but soon thereafter, the machine went silent for a time after the device was sent in to Dell for servicing. As soon as the user began using it again, police were able to retrieve the laptop from the user and, because he claims he purchased it via a third party seller, an investigation is underway.


An employee of a national construction company was in Columbus, Ohio when his car was burglarized, and his laptop stolen. Absolute investigators were notified and immediately went to work. Once the device became active again, they could see the device was in Senegal. Investigators messaged the new user and they explained they had been told the laptop was purchased by another family member in the U.S. Another family member who was flying back to the U.S. returned it to Absolute upon their arrival and investigators returned it to their customer. Needless to say, the company was both surprised and very happy with the device return from a foreign country.

Commercial Burglary

Two laptops were stolen during a burglary at a property management company in Dallas, Texas. Absolute investigators were notified, and a police report was filed with the Dallas Police Department. Both devices soon became active and investigators could see they were being used by a graduate student of Wichita State University in Kansas. Dallas police called the user in Kansas and while the user admitted to having one device, he claimed he didn’t have the other. The second device then went quiet for a time. Once it became active again – in India – Absolute investigators implemented a device freeze. After police called the user again and explained charges would be brought if both devices weren’t returned, the user had the second device shipped back from India and both were returned to police, and then the Absolute customer.  

For more than 15 years, Absolute Investigations have 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.

Data Visibility & Protection Endpoint Security

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