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Thief Steals Researcher's Laptop But Returns Data

A thief stole a laptop computer belonging to a professor at UmeƄ University in Sweden. The computer contained 10 years of research which he had not bothered to back up. A few days later, he received a USB flash drive in an envelope containing his data:

About a week after the theft, the professor returned home to find an envelope containing a USB memory stick which had been taken along with the computer.

The professor was shocked to discover the thief had copied all the documents and personal files from his laptop to the memory storage device, a process which likely took hours.

All things considered, the professor is delighted at the outcome, despite the loss of his computer. He hopes, however, that other thieves can learn to be as compassionate.


Link via Glenn Reynolds | Photo by Flickr user Ambuj Saxena used under Creative Commons license

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@John Farrier: I have to call you out. That was a misleading summary of the story, now leading to rampant speculation in the comments section.

His bag was stolen and he was upset over the loss of a calendar (perhaps a journal of sorts) that he had been keeping the past 10 years. That, along with the bag was returned soon after. The usb later returned contained personal documents and files, which he admitted to being bad at backing up, but it was NOT "10 years of research."
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This reminds me of a story I read about Americans living somewhere in Africa - if a pickpocket stole your wallet, you could expect it to be tossed into your compound a few days later (empty of cash, but with all your hard-to-replace identification). The pickpocket viewed the victim not like a hunter views a deer, but like a farmer views a dairy cow.
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