Absolute Customers Speak Out About Recent Laptop Theft Experiences

Consumers get their stolen computers back with Absolute's LoJack for Laptops

January 8, 2009

6 Min Read


Vancouver, Canada: January 7, 2009 " Absolute Software Corporation ("Absolute" or the "Company") (TSX: ABT), the leading provider of firmware-based, patented, computer theft recovery, data protection and IT asset management solutions, today revealed the behind-the-scenes laptop theft experiences of three Computrace LoJack for Laptops subscribers. Their stories include: recovering Jeffrey Alexander's computer, taken in a suspected string of burglaries during Yom Kippur; tracing Niyonu Thompson's stolen computer to a computer repair store in Atlanta; and recovering Delaware State University student Stefanie Strom's computer after it was taken from her dorm room by thieves and transported to New Jersey. According to New Milford, New Jersey resident and LoJack for Laptops subscriber Jeffrey Alexander, "After thieves broke into my home and made off with my laptop, I really never expected to see it again, let alone catch the criminals who had it. I wasn't aware at the time, but as soon as I reported the theft to my local police and Absolute's Theft Recovery Team, an amazing investigation began. Not even four full days after I reported the theft, Absolute's technology had led police to the home of an alleged thief where my laptop was recovered " along with four other laptops, a large quantity of drugs and cash. Not only did I get my laptop back, the investigation also resulted in four arrests! I can't really imagine a better result." The Yom Kippur Burglaries: Jeffrey's Laptop Theft Story Returning from a weekend visiting family in Florida, Jeffrey Alexander arrived at his home in New Milford to find that it had been burglarized and his laptop was missing. New Milford Police suspect that his home was one of a series of homes broken into while many local residents were attending Yom Kippur events. He immediately notified local police and Absolute Software. "I went to sleep devastated at the loss, including my laptop," says Alexander. Upon receiving the theft report from Jeffrey, investigators from the New Milford Police Department, the Absolute Theft Recovery Team and the Bergen County Prosecutors Office began a joint investigation. Within two hours of notifying Absolute, Jeffrey's laptop called the Absolute Monitoring Center to report its location and other key evidence. Prepared with a search warrant, police investigators searched a location in Hackensack where they recovered several pounds of marijuana, a large quantity of crack cocaine and several thousand dollars in cash. Detectives also recovered Jeffrey's laptop as well as four other laptops that are now being examined to help return them to their owners. Four individuals found on the scene were arrested and are now facing charges of receiving stolen property and felony narcotics. "Jeff's story is fairly typical of the thousands of computer theft investigations we carry out each year," said Lyle Singular, Vice President, Recovery Services at Absolute. "Our technology is tremendously effective in terms of assisting in the recovery of lost or stolen computers, but it is really the combination of Absolute's investigators and fast, effective police work that gets results like these. In this case, our team, police investigators, and the county prosecutor's office worked in concert to recover our client's computer and arrest alleged criminals." I Bought It From 'Some Guy': Niyonu's Laptop Theft Story Sometime between 11 am and 4 pm, thieves broke into Niyonu Thompson's Atlanta, Georgia home and made off with her laptop computer. Out for the day, Niyonu's lawn mowing company noticed something was amiss at her house and notified Atlanta police. Only after she returned home was Niyonu able to confirm the theft with police and complete the "report a theft" information for her Absolute LoJack for Laptops subscription. "I was pretty shaken up," says Niyonu. "Break-ins are not that common in my neighborhood, and it was a shock to know that someone had been in my home going through my things. They took my computer, which was a real blow but I knew I had subscribed to Absolute's recovery service when I bought my new computer. I thought, it was a small subscription fee, why not? I am so glad I subscribed! It wasn't even a week after my break-in that a detective from Atlanta police stopped by my house to say that they had my computer and would be returning it to me once he had wrapped up his investigation. In fact, he said the tracing information from Absolute had arrived on his desk before he had even received the full police report. He was impressed." Working on information sent from Niyonu's stolen laptop, Atlanta and DeKalb County Police traced the computer to a suspected thief. On confronting the suspect, investigators learned that she had purchased it from "some guy" at a local used computer store. The computer has now become an important piece of evidence in the detective's burglary investigation. Added Niyonu, "It's great to get my computer back but I also appreciated the knowledgeable, friendly service Absolute provided during a fairly stressful time for me. Thanks for everything!" Dorm Room Rip-Off: Stefanie's Laptop Theft Story When Delaware State University student Stefanie Strom left her dorm room for a noon class, she didn't give any thought to leaving her HP Pavilion in her room. Returning three hours later, she was surprised to find her room open and her laptop missing. "My laptop has everything on it " my music, my papers, tons of photos. Until it was stolen, I hadn't realized how much I relied on it. I couldn't even check my email!" Fortunately, before Stefanie headed off to fall semester, her father Steve Strom had obtained a subscription to Absolute's LoJack for Laptops as protection for the computer. Stefanie filed a police report then contacted the Absolute Theft Recovery Team. Almost immediately, Stefanie's missing laptop contacted the Absolute Monitoring Center and reported its location " Willingboro, New Jersey. Using information sent from the computer, Dover detectives obtained arrest warrants for three individuals in Willingboro who were subsequently arrested by investigators in New Jersey. While arresting the alleged thieves, Stefanie's computer was recovered and has now been returned to her. According to Stefanie's father, "Our experience with Absolute has been amazing. For a university student like my daughter, a laptop computer is more than just a computer, it's an investment. I have no idea how Absolute works their magic in the background, but the results really say it all; Stef has her computer back and police have three very bad people in custody." How Absolute's Computrace Solutions Work The Computrace software Agent that powers Absolute Software's solutions is embedded in the firmware of computers from the world's leading computer manufacturers right at the factory.1 It can be activated by customers when they purchase a subscription with terms ranging from one to four years. When a computer equipped with Computrace technology (such as a LoJack for Laptops) is reported stolen, Computrace sends a silent signal over the Internet to the Absolute Monitoring Center, providing critical evidence, including location information. Absolute then works with local law enforcement to recover the computer. Embedded in the firmware of a computer, the stealthy Computrace Agent is capable of surviving operating system re-installations, as well as hard-drive reformats, replacements and re-imaging. For more information on Absolute Software and its range of computer theft recovery, data protection and IT asset management solutions, please visit www.absolute.com or www.lojackforlaptops.com .

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