Absolute Software's recently released 2012 Endpoint Security Report details device theft insights from the 12,705 investigations we completed in 2012. At the close of 2012, we had recovered more than 28,000 stolen devices from 96 countries in our history, though since then we've reached the milestone of 100 countries and more than 29,000 recovered stolen devices.
Our investigations and recoveries have enabled us to develop some insights about where the most common thefts occur as well as where stolen devices are likely to end up.
North America accounted for more than half of the thefts reported to Absolute Software in 2012, with the US once again topping the list.
Chicago remained the top city for device theft for the second year running. Marrero, a small suburb outside New Orleans, is new to the list - it wasn't even in the top 20 in 2011.
Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) also saw a large number of device thefts, with the UK seeing the majority of these, followed by South Africa, Denmark and France. As supported by London's own crime figures, London retained its position as the top local for theft in 2012.
Device theft is not limited by geography. Although the original crime may occur in one country, recovering the stolen device may occur in a different country and sometimes even a different continent. In 2012, we made recoveries for the first time from areas such as the Cayman Islands, Curacao, Jordan, Gambia, Zimbabwe, Mongolia and Vietnam.
While some stolen mobile phones will wind up in pawn shops, sold on street corners or in online classifieds, the vast majority of stolen devices are now being shipped internationally. International markets (particularly countries in Latin America, EMEA and Asia Pacific) pay a premium for smartphones, with the high demand pushing the prices way up. Absolute Software's relationships around the world combined with our persistence technology enable us to locate and recover laptops from all around the world.
InformationWeek recently discussed these findings, connecting many areas of our study to give you an overall picture of endpoint security and mobile device theft.
For more insights, access the full copy of the 2012 Endpoint Security Report.