I have previously reported on Absolute Software's Computrace software - for the uninitiated it is software that 'calls home' every 24 hours when the computer is connected to the network and if it is unable to call home, and it is reported stolen, it will send an alert signal every 15 minutes to Absolute, who is able to trace it via an IP address and network connection.
A story on SC last year showed how successful the implementation had been for one company, but new reports show just how far some thieves are willing to go:
Top five Absolute Software recovery stories in the past year:
1 - Back to school: A laptop stolen from The Laleham Gale School in Kent was recovered in Tohana, India. Distance from point of theft: over 4,000 miles.
2 - Everybody needs good neighbours: In late 2008, a student house separated into several flats in Birmingham was burgled. A stolen laptop was recovered using Absolute's asset tracking capabilities - from a flat on the top floor of the same building.
3 - Terminally lost? One US traveller in Heathrow Airport's Terminal Five left his laptop with his wife in the waiting area. His wife was distracted, and the laptop was stolen in seconds in a practiced move from a pair of professional thieves. Absolute Software tracked the laptop down in central London and returned it to its owner in the US - who was pleasantly surprised to find his computer had made its own way home.
4 - Little shop of steals: Last summer a laptop was stolen during a burglary in Birmingham. It was traced to a shop in the south of the city. A warrant was executed on the mobile phone store - the laptop was recovered along with 32 other stolen laptops and over 100 stolen mobile handsets.
5 - Motoring down the highway to recover: A laptop was stolen in a car jacking in New Delhi, India. Thieves distracted the car driver by alerting him to a flat tyre. When the driver got out to look, the thieves stole the laptop from inside the car. The device was tracked to Chennai, Southern India - some 1,000 miles across the sub-continent from its owner.
Derek Skinner, theft recovery services manager at Absolute, said: "The past year has witnessed some amazing recoveries. Some thieves cross continents to cover their tracks, while others are more confident - sometimes only venturing as far away as the apartment upstairs.
"Laptop theft is becoming increasingly extreme as criminals respond to advances in tracking technology and try to hide from it. The key is to make sure the thieves fail - which is only possible if we make use of the technology already embedded in laptops to track them down and recover the machine and/or the data."