Real Laptop Theft Recoveries Involving Armed Standoffs, Drug Rings, and Wanted Criminals Remind Consumers that Laptop Recovery is Always Best Left to the Pros

October 31, 2011

Recent Recovery Stories Underscore the Value of Protecting Mobile Devices with Absolute Software’s Persistence Technology

Vancouver, Canada: October 31, 2011 – In honor of Halloween, Absolute® Software Corporation (“Absolute” or the “Company”) (TSX: ABT), the leading provider of firmware-embedded endpoint security and management solutions, is reminding consumers that the do-it-yourself approach to recovering a stolen laptop can lead to scary situations and encounters with dangerous individuals.

“You never know who or what is on the other side of a laptop theft. It could range from an innocent bystander who repurchased a stolen laptop to a dangerous and violent criminal,” said Mark Grace, Vice President of Consumer Business, Absolute Software. “Why take the risk when a proven theft recovery service like LoJack® for Laptops—and its Theft Recovery Team—exists to do the work for consumers?”

To show the real risks of do-it-yourself laptop recovery, Absolute turned to its Theft Recovery Team, a group of former law enforcement officers who have recovered more than 20,000 laptops to date. The following stories detail some of the most dangerous recoveries the Team and its law enforcement partners have been involved with in recent years.

Routine Questioning Leads to Armed Standoff

In Tucson, Arizona, Absolute’s Theft Recovery Team identified a strong suspect and provided evidence to local police. When officers confronted the thief, what should have been routine questioning quickly escalated into a tense, armed standoff before the customer’s laptop was safely recovered. The lead investigator on the scene said, “This one really got my heart pumping,” proving that the incident could’ve easily become deadly for an ordinary civilian.

Recovery Uncovers Identity Theft and Drug Ring

While investigating a case in Ventura, California, Absolute’s Theft Recovery Team informed police that a potential suspect changed locations repeatedly. Using Absolute’s patented technology and tools, the Team was able to assist the Ventura County Sheriff's Department with what they needed to trace the suspect to a seedy motel, and then on to a fancy hotel, where police were able to successfully recover the laptop in question. Not only did the stolen laptop contain evidence of identity theft, the suspect was also in possession of a large cache of drugs and was taken into custody immediately.

Two Arrests for the Price of One

In Metairie, Louisiana, a high school student’s laptop was stolen in a vehicle break-in. Because the computer was protected by LoJack for Laptops, Absolute’s Theft Recovery Team was able to quickly gather the evidence needed to enable police to execute a search warrant. When officers arrived on the premises, the suspect barricaded himself inside, requiring police to make a forced entry. Once inside, police recovered the laptop and made a two-for-one arrest. The suspect was taken into custody along with his roommate, who had multiple outstanding warrants.

With or without theft recovery software, the safest bet is to avoid laptop theft in the first place. To help consumers become more proactive about protecting their laptops, Absolute offers the following tips:

  • Do not use a laptop case – Because laptop cases are often a dead giveaway for thieves, consider carrying laptops in a nondescript bag or backpack.
  • Never leave a laptop unattended – While this may seem like common sense, criminals at the coffee shop or library can strike in seconds. To be safe, keep your laptop near at all times.
  • Don’t assume laptops are safe at home – Most laptops are stolen from residences and college campuses. Investing in desk locks or laptop safes will help to deter thieves who look for items they can quickly grab.
  • Personalize your laptop – A laptop that stands out in a crowd is less attractive to a thief and depreciates resale value. Applying skins or stickers will make laptops less of a target.

For more laptop safety and theft prevention tips, visit blog.lojackforlaptops.com. To learn more about LoJack for Laptops, visit homeoffice.absolute.com.

How The Technology Works

Computrace® and LoJack for Laptops are powered by the Absolute Software patented Computrace persistence technology. When embedded in the firmware of computers from leading computer manufacturers*, Computrace can survive operating system re-installations, as well as hard-drive reformats, replacements and re-imaging, helping to ensure that the service is there when you need it most. Whether a PC or Mac, the software is virtually undetectable and phones home to the Absolute Monitoring Center with location and asset information. If a computer is reported stolen, the Absolute Theft Recovery Team works on behalf of the customer to gather evidence from the computer to identify the thief’s location, and then works with local police to get the computer back. Customers can also remotely delete data to help keep it out of the hands of unauthorized users – a reliable contingency in case data protection solutions fail. Computrace or LoJack for Laptops can be easily activated by customers when they install a license ranging from 1-3 years.

*For a list of computers with firmware-embedded support, visit www.absolute.com/.

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About Absolute Software

Absolute Software (NASDAQ: ABST) (TSX: ABST) is the only provider of self-healing, intelligent security solutions. Embedded in more than 600 million devices, Absolute is the only platform offering a permanent digital connection that intelligently and dynamically applies visibility, control and self-healing capabilities to endpoints, applications, and network connections - helping customers to strengthen cyber resilience against the escalating threat of ransomware and malicious attacks. Trusted by more than 18,000 customers, G2 recognized Absolute as a leader for the tenth consecutive quarter in the Summer 2022 Grid® Report for Endpoint Management and as a high performer in the G2 Grid Report for Zero Trust Networking.

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