US laptop thief Prosecuted - UK companies warned to be vigilant

A security company has warned companies of the need to be vigilant and encrypt their laptops, following the arrest and prosecution of a 33-year-old career criminal wanted in connection with more than two dozen multi-laptop thefts in five states across the US.

"Eric Almly - aka the Khaki laptop bandit - is known to have stolen an astonishing 66 laptops in the first three months of this year, until he was apprehended by investigators," said David Hobson, MD for GSS, who added that Almly is thought to have disposed of hundreds of laptops on eBay, the Web auction site.

"He was caught after wandering into the Florida headquarters of a restaurant chain and stealing 11 laptops in his shoulder bag and, even then, the security guard was outwitted by his smooth talking," he added.

According to Hobson, the prosecution of Almly - and the 12 year trail of laptop misery left in his wake across the US - clearly highlights the need to encrypt company data on notebook PCs.

"The many companies this talented criminal stole laptops from were lucky that he apparently wiped the hard disks before selling the machines on eBay. I suspect that, had he been minded to, he could have made even more money from examining and selling the data on the notebook PCs before selling them on," he said.