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General Chat Thread, theft of laptop in General; we use a label printer and label every computer up with its host name, we put one on the bottom ...
  1. #16
    Flakes's Avatar
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    we use a label printer and label every computer up with its host name, we put one on the bottom and one on the top, we also log every machine into a spreadsheet, with the Classroom, SN, PN, Computer Name. if one goes missing, we can hand over the SN and PN from the Spreadsheet.

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    no one wants to buy a laptop with a dirty great big postcode etched all over it.
    Really? In my previous school a whole bank of laptops got stolen, all with security etching. Guess what, after a week I found them on ebay! The theif thought he was so clever to sand the lid/inside cover down, he even had the cheek to post the pics which clearly showed something was rubbed out.

    And guess what? He/she got away with it. The police just couldn't get his name out of ebay. He was certainly dodgy, all his auctions were hidding buyers names, couldn't pull his item on local search although when I found his auction the area was there, and he/she was selling only laptops/cameras/golf clubs. So slowly and annoyingly, 2 at a time he sold them all. I did contact him as a potential buyer to see if I could pick up in person and he declined.

    He still has perfect ebay score!!! And most likely now he knows where they are will come and help himself again. Unfortunately teachers like the replacements much better(couldn't replace with the same model obviously so much better spec) so even though I wanted to take some preventative measures I was ignored.

    Oh, and the alarm didn't work on the night...

  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey View Post
    Had 30 laptops nicked a couple of moths ago, and been meaning to enquire about this sort of thing. Thanks for this.

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    This is bolting the door after the horse has gone.... but we are currently looking at several software solutions that may help in locating a stolen or 'missing' laptop.

    Track down your stolen laptop – Prey
    Prey is a lightweight application that will help you track and find your laptop if it ever gets stolen. It works in all operating systems and not only is it Open Source but also completely free (non-commerical use).

    Prey helps you locate your missing laptop by sending timed reports with a bunch of information of its whereabouts. This includes the general status of the computer, a list of running programs and active connections, fully-detailed network and wifi information, a screenshot of the running desktop and — in case your laptop has an integrated webcam — a picture of the thief.

    You may be thinking “but what’s the point of this program if the guy will probably just format the thing right away?” and you’re completely right. However, experience shows that thieves tend to look in stolen computers for valuable information, so there’s actually a chance you can catch the guy, or if they just bang it on ebay locate it when the buyer starts it up for the first time


    Its also possible with Logmein (free) and IT-Reach (also Logmein),

    Unfortunately, gathering about the laptop's whereabouts is only half the task. You must then decide how to use that information to recover the machine. Note btw that user might not be the thief. He may have bought the laptop from the thief.

  5. 2 Thanks to bertster:

    JJonas (3rd March 2010), LeMarchand (3rd March 2010)

  6. #20

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    We use Selectamark and Smartwater. Im dubious about how effective Smartwater is but the Selectamark marking really is virtually indestructable - there is nothing that gets that stuff off apart from heavily sanding the surface down.

    Not going to guarantee you ever see the equipment again but it does make it harder to be sold on (of course make sure the marking isnt on some part that can be easily replaced)

    It does make me sad ruining the look of shiny new MacBooks with that stuff though but its for the best

  7. #21
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    Cheers for all the advice been looking for serial numbers all day no one has found them yet.....

    I am right in thinking if the police do find them, there will be no way of them knowing there ours????

  8. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by sidewinder View Post
    We use Selectamark and Smartwater. Im dubious about how effective Smartwater is but the Selectamark marking really is virtually indestructable - there is nothing that gets that stuff off apart from heavily sanding the surface down.

    Not going to guarantee you ever see the equipment again but it does make it harder to be sold on (of course make sure the marking isnt on some part that can be easily replaced)

    It does make me sad ruining the look of shiny new MacBooks with that stuff though but its for the best
    Really? I think most people who are going to buy a laptop off someone in the pub for £100 will know it's stolen and won't give a damn about a) a postcode on the lid or b) a bit of sanding where it's been rubbed off.

    Unfortunately in the current economic climate there will be no shortage of buyers.

  9. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenewman View Post
    Really? I think most people who are going to buy a laptop off someone in the pub for £100 will know it's stolen and won't give a damn about a) a postcode on the lid or b) a bit of sanding where it's been rubbed off.

    Unfortunately in the current economic climate there will be no shortage of buyers.
    Agreed, but it does make it harder on ebay where the lazy thieves seem to sell.
    The main thing is, its better than nothing. Its not going to stop it being stolen and it doesnt make in unsaleable, it just makes it a bit harder.

    Personally I cant see too many thieves having the balls to try and sell what is obviously stolen school equipment in a pub, because a) the morality of some people would stop them buying it (as opposed to it being from a business) and b) theres a lot more local people (hundreds of staff and students) that knows what that equipment looks like making it more risky. But Im sure it does still happen

  10. #24
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    We use CRE Mark for IT. Pen and lacquer spray, pen in black or silver. I have written on top of laptop cases "Property of name of school postcode" in big letters. Am told it would take industrial acetone to remove this. Or probably sanding would do trick. You can't stop the determined theif, I guess, but at least you can make an item less desirable. We did check that marking the laptops this way wouldn't cause issue with warranty!

    CRE Products - Protect your belongings with CRE MARK -

    Company not VAT registered yet.

  11. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichB View Post
    Cheers guys....

    DAVEP - how did the police know they were your laptops tho?
    Apparently they started some of them up and found our domain in the drop down list [they were on the domain, not standalone]

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    @DaveP:

    Good old "Gina" she's the best hehe!!

    plsd ya got em back I would employ Arab law in this case and chop the little bleeders hands off so they couldn't steal anything again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveMurphy View Post
    ...the secretary had an automatic login...
    Yoiks!! Wait till audit catch up with you....

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    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    plsd ya got em back I would employ Arab law in this case and chop the little bleeders hands off so they couldn't steal anything again.
    Yes we got them [the laptops] back however:
    The HDDs had been formatted and an illegal copy of Vista had been put on them [not a real problem just had to Ghost them again: Annoying as we had only just finished that before they went missing ]
    They were returnefd without their power supplies so it cost us £ 40 - £ 50 per laptop to get them working properly again.
    Still as you say at least we got them back.

  15. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by sidewinder View Post
    We use Selectamark and Smartwater. Im dubious about how effective Smartwater is but the Selectamark marking really is virtually indestructable - there is nothing that gets that stuff off apart from heavily sanding the surface down.

    Not going to guarantee you ever see the equipment again but it does make it harder to be sold on (of course make sure the marking isnt on some part that can be easily replaced)

    It does make me sad ruining the look of shiny new MacBooks with that stuff though but its for the best
    How effective is this Smartwater? Our insurance company suggested this to us, but like always it'd cost a fortune and there's just too many things to do it on and im sure it's washable at some stage as it can wear off?

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