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Man steals laptop, goes back to apologize, steals another laptop

A man who stole a laptop arrives at the victim's house because he says the police told him to come and apologize. He then steals the replacement.

Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

The beauty of gall is that it is sometimes boundless.

You might feel that the story of 21-year-old Brit Ivan Barker proves this handsomely. For he recently stole a laptop belonging to Jacque Mathley.

Not too long afterward, as the Daily Mail tells it, Barker went back to Mathley's house in Stoke-on-Trent and knocked on the door.

He told Mathley he'd come to apologize. He told Mathley the police had instructed him to do it. Mathley, who is wheelchair-bound, seems to have believed this explanation, as he let Barker into his house.

At some point during their conversation, Mathley went to the restroom. When he returned, Barker was gone. So was Mathley's replacement laptop.

Thankfully, Mathley by now had a fair idea of who might have been behind the theft. So the case ended up in court, where Barker was given 16 weeks in jail. This despite his explanation to the court that he really had gone to Mathley's house to apologize, but then had "started stressing."

Some might stress that his punishment isn't quite enough.

But this is, perhaps, one of the rare stories that makes one believe that social networking is somehow safer than the real thing.