In honor of Halloween, Absolute®Software Corporation, a 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.
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.
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.
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 the LoJack blog.