When Ron Schroeder’s laptop was stolen in early 2010 he reported it to the Peoria police department. Peoria Police Detective Craig Willis was assigned to the case. Schroeder also informed IT360 that his computer was lost. Because they provided technology services to Schroeder’s business, IT360 had also installed a monitoring agent in his personal computer, just like it typically does for its client’s business’ computers. This software is used to remotely monitor a PC functions to detect failure and to allow proactive maintenance to be performed.

After Schroeder informed IT360 that his computer had been stolen, IT360 owners Don Dawson and Matt Machala activated the monitoring software installed in Schroeder’s computer to help them locate the computer. However, for the monitoring software to work, the current user has to connect to the Internet on the laptop. For over 10 months, nothing was heard from the computer. Then, on Thanksgiving evening, the laptop suddenly started logging on to the Internet. Through information retrieved from the laptop IT360 was able to provide a name and address to Detective Willis.

“With Ron’s permission, we were able to retool the software on his computer to detect the laptop’s activity,” explained Don Dawson. “While there was no indication that this was the same person who stole the computer, as soon as it was connected to the Internet, we were able to start logging information to help determine the location of the laptop. The computer was in the possession of an older woman. She made an electronic purchase and entered her name and address over the computer. We supplied this information to Detective Willis, and it was instrumental in helping him recover the laptop.”

Detective Craig Willis takes up the story, “Prior to hearing from IT360, we had no leads on Ron’s computer — it was just ‘another stolen laptop’ until IT360 called me. Lots of laptops get stolen — very few are recovered. Don Dawson of IT360 deserves a lot of credit because he did a ton of work. If I ever buy a laptop, I’ll take it to Don and have him put this software on it.”

“When IT360 first suggested that I put monitoring software on my personal laptop because I travel a lot, I did it, but I didn’t think much about it,” said Ron Schroeder. “But now that I have lived through having my computer stolen, I have seen first hand everything IT360 did to help recover it and I trust them. It is a great thing to have a company that is truly looking out for your best interests!” Ron was working for another company when his laptop was stolen, but now IT360 takes care of the computers and network for his company, Progressive Housing, Inc., a non-profit that provides group homes for developmentally disabled.

“We are sharing this story as a public service,” said IT360’s Matt Machala. “When we can help someone like Ron recover a stolen laptop, it is extremely rewarding. And when we hear of others who have had the same thing happen to them, but weren’t able to recover their laptops, we want to tell them this story. We call ourselves ‘the IT department for small businesses’ because our approach to helping our customers is to treat their technology as if it were our own. Putting our customers’ needs first has helped us become the most referred technology company in central Illinois.”

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