Laptop thief sends research data back to professor

2010-10-15 14:22

Stockholm – A remorseful thief had made life a little easier for a Swedish university professor whose backpack containing a laptop computer and other documents was recently stolen, a newspaper reported today.

The incident occurred when the professor at Umea University in northern Sweden returned to his flat.

Having undergone recent surgery, he decided to leave his backpack in the entrance way while making a quick errand to the basement.

When he returned a few minutes later, he discovered that the backpack was missing – and with it his diary, research documents, the laptop and keys.

“It was awful. Just the diary is incredibly important to me,” the professor told the Vasterbottens-Kuriren.

He went to his flat to phone the police and cancelled his credit cards. A little while later, he made a surprise discovery of the backpack in the entrance way.

“All the papers, diary and credit cards were there. Only the laptop was missing. That wasn’t good since it contained material I have worked on this summer and autumn,” the professor said, adding that he had slipped behind on backing up his files.

The thief, however, proved to be kind-hearted.

A week later, the professor received an envelope with memory sticks containing all the documents and personal files on the stolen laptop.

“It was incredible! The thief spent several hours making copies,” the academic said.

The professor hoped other thieves would act in a similar fashion, since the missing information on stolen computers often was the most difficult to replace.

Police in Umea said they had not heard about a similar incident.

Still missing, in addition to the laptop, was the professor’s library card.

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