Laptop thief backs up victim's data, mails it to him

A Swedish professor has his laptop stolen. The thief, clearly an altruist at heart, copies the data onto a USB stick and mails it to the professor.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

In the more dog-eating-dog quarters of the world, Sweden is sometimes mocked for being a namby-pamby welfare state.

Sometimes, though, caring for one's fellow man is beautiful just for its own sake.

So please may we rejoice at the tale of an anonymous Swedish professor who had his laptop stolen.

How can having one's laptop stolen possibly bring us to a happy conclusion? Did someone find his laptop and return it to him? No. Did someone catch the thief and, in a fit of justice, remove all the Pirate Bay stickers from his laptop? Again, no.

However as Swedish news source The Local would have it, something far more beautiful occurred in this case.

The professor wasn't feeling well. He'd recently had surgery. And he was desperate to do his laundry. So he dropped his backpack behind a door on the stairwell, rather than taking it to his apartment first, and went off to the laundry room. He had not counted on it being thieved in the few minutes he was addressing the needs of his underwear and, no doubt, check shirts.

On his return, the backpack, containing his computer, calendar, keys, and other effects had gone. He called the police. A few minutes later, perhaps praying for some kind of divine intervention, he went back out into the stairwell, where the backpack had strangely reappeared. Only one thing was missing: his laptop.

"Unfortunately, I have been bad at backing up my computer," the Local quoted the professor as saying. He is not alone.

However, it was as if an angel had intercepted his thoughts and words. The angel being the thief.

For around a week later, the professor says he received an envelope. Inside was a USB stick. Did this hold information about a rival professor's indiscretions with his comely students? Did it hold images of Tiger Woods on a private trip to Sweden?

No, it held all the data from his laptop. The thief, it appears, took pity and spent perhaps hours making sure that the professor got all of his unbacked-up information back.

The world is a harsh, unforgiving place, in which we lose far more than we win. But if this thief would merely open a university program for thieves, then surely the world's karmic balance might be shifted for once in a healthy direction.