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Absolute's Laptop Investigative Recovery Services Help Solve Recent Thefts At US Airports

The assigned Absolute Theft Recovery Officer used Absolute's theft recovery tools to obtain information from the stolen computer and to immediately identify the new user.
by Staff Writers
Vancouver, Canada (SPX) Jul 11, 2008
Absolute Software has announced that its laptop management and theft recovery services have helped solve several recent cases of laptop theft in U.S. airports.

The stories include: recovering a business laptop stolen while its owner was on her way to Germany, breaking up an internal theft ring at Tampa International Airport and recovering a Spokane traveler's laptop allegedly stolen from baggage handling at Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport.

According to John Livingston, Chairman and CEO of Absolute, "New research from the Ponemon Institute sponsored by Dell indicates that as many as 12,000 computers are lost weekly and up to 600,000 are lost or stolen annually from U.S. airports. These statistics are further evidence that even in high security environments, laptops continue to be stolen at alarming rates.

"In our experience, a great proportion of these thefts have been from checked baggage. With Computrace and Computrace LoJack for Laptops(TM), our clients have the peace of mind that their computer and the sensitive information on it are protected as they travel. Recovering computers with a high success rate would not be possible without the assistance of investigative experts, such as the Absolute Theft Recovery Team."

Available on a subscription basis and delivered as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) via the Internet, Absolute's suite of Computrace solutions are designed specifically to manage mobile computers.

For larger organizations, Computrace inventories computers that have left the corporate network, remotely deletes sensitive information and offers post-theft forensic analysis. For home office users, small businesses and students, Computrace LoJack for Laptops offers theft recovery and identity protection through remote data delete capabilities backed by a Service Guarantee of up to $1,000.

Absolute has also developed a powerful set of theft recovery tools, which include capabilities such as keystroke loggers, cameras, location tracking (Wi-Fi, GPS), remote access terminals, etc., that enable the Absolute Theft Recovery Team to augment their investigation.

These tools are only employed post-theft with customer authorization and are used exclusively by Absolute's trained professionals in order to protect privacy.

Below are several recent investigations into airport computer thefts conducted by the Absolute Theft Recovery Team in conjunction with local police and airport authorities:

Stolen Business Laptop Bound for Germany Calls Home
Bound for Germany, an Absolute client packed her laptop computer into her checked baggage and settled in for her international flight. Upon arriving, she discovered that her laptop bag was empty. Her computer had gone missing in the baggage handling area. A Computrace LoJack for Laptop subscriber, she informed JFK Port Authority PD and the Absolute Theft Recovery Team.

The assigned Absolute Theft Recovery Officer used Absolute's theft recovery tools to obtain information from the stolen computer and to immediately identify the new user. He then worked with airport authorities to check the name against an employee database.

Having identified the new user as a baggage handler, police obtained a search warrant and recovered the stolen laptop and returned it to the business traveler. When confronted, the now former baggage handler claimed the computer was purchased from a third party. Charges of possession of stolen property are now pending. JFK Port Authority PD authorities remarked that the case was one of the fastest and easiest cases they had ever investigated.

Baggage Handlers Arrested: Traveler's Notebook Recovered
When a notebook computer packed in baggage from Tampa International Airport failed to arrive at its destination, the computer's owner, a Computrace LoJack for Laptops subscriber, informed airport police and the Absolute Theft Recovery Team.

Information gathered by the Absolute Theft Recovery Team via Computrace led Tampa police to the home of a suspect. On further investigation, police learned that the computer had allegedly been purchased from a Tampa International baggage handler for $350 and was only one of many items that had allegedly been stolen from baggage passing through the airport.

Ultimately, police apprehended a total of three airport baggage handlers who are now facing charges of theft. The notebook computer has been returned safely to its owner.

Spokane Traveler's Laptop Recovered in Arizona
Headed home on a routine flight from Cleveland, Ohio to Spokane, Washington, an Absolute client's baggage was delayed on a layover in Phoenix, Arizona. When the baggage arrived in Spokane the next morning, the traveler was shocked to find that his laptop had gone missing. The Absolute client reported the theft to Spokane police and alerted the Absolute Theft Recovery Team.

Shortly thereafter, the Absolute Monitoring Center received a silent transmission from the stolen computer and the Absolute Theft Recovery Team discovered that it was in the possession of an individual in Mesa, Arizona. Acting on evidence delivered by Absolute, Mesa detectives served a search warrant on the home of the alleged thief.

Attending the address, detectives quickly learned that the computer was being used by a Phoenix baggage handler. The computer has been returned to its owner and Phoenix police are investigating with local pawn shops the possibility of additional related thefts.

How Absolute's Computrace Services Work
The software-based Computrace Agent that powers Absolute Software's solutions is embedded in the firmware of computers from the world's leading computer manufacturers(3). Access to one of Absolute's IT asset management, computer theft recovery and remote data protection solutions is typically activated by customers when they purchase a subscription to Computrace or Computrace LoJack for Laptops with terms ranging from 1-4 years.

When a computer equipped with Computrace is reported stolen, Computrace sends a silent signal over the Internet to the Absolute Monitoring Center, at which time the Absolute Theft Recovery Team is able to deploy Absolute's recovery tools and conduct an investigation in order to obtain critical details including location and unauthorized user information. The Theft Recovery Team then coordinates with local law enforcement for recovery of the stolen machine.

Backed by the Absolute Theft Recovery Team
All Absolute theft recovery solutions are backed by the efforts of the elite Absolute Theft Recovery Team. Staffed by former senior law enforcement officers, the team uses information sent via Computrace to investigate computer thefts, document evidence and work with local law enforcement to physically recover missing computers and prosecute computer thieves.

Please note that indictments and criminal complaints are merely unproven accusations and the accused in all cases are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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Hot Wheels 2008, the National Insurance Crime Bureaus (NICB) companion study to its annual Hot Spots auto theft report examines data reported to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and determines the vehicle make, model, and model year most reported stolen in 2007.

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