• Sweden's news in English
 
almadalen_header

Swedish professor rejoices over laptop thief's memory stick miracle

Published: 15 Oct 2010 12:18 GMT+02:00

"I am very happy," the unnamed professor told the local Västerbottens-Kuriren newspaper.

"This story makes me feel hope for humanity."

The professor, who wished to remain anonymous, is one of the most successful in his field, according to the newspaper.

Having recently had surgery, the professor could not be bothered to drop off his backpack in his apartment before first going to the laundry room.

He instead left the bag behind a door in the stairwell, thinking it would be safe for a few minutes.

But when he returned a short time later, the bag was missing, along with the computer, keys, calendar and other documents inside.

The professor was most upset by the loss of his calendar.

"It is my life. I have documented everything in it that has happened in the last 10 years and beyond," he told the newspaper.

He then called the police to report the incident and blocked the credit cards which were also in the bag.

But when he went down to the stairwell a short time later, he couldn't believe his eyes.

"The backpack was there again. With all the papers, calendar and credit cards. It was just the computer that was missing," he explained.

"Unfortunately, I have been bad at backing up my computer."

Resigned to having lost his computer, the professor was nevertheless happy to have the rest of his belongings back.

But the considerate thief had yet one more surprise in store.

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.

"Often when people lose their computers and cameras, it is understandably not the gadget itself that is the most important. The content is often irreplaceable," he told the newspaper.

Besides the computer, the only other item that has not yet been returned is the professor's library card.

"Perhaps the thief needs to improve him or herself," the professor joked.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

13:10 October 15, 2010 by joshr
I left a camera on a bus once in the Czech Republic. A few months later, I received a few CDs in the mail with all of the photos on it.

Even criminals have hearts sometimes... :)
13:38 October 15, 2010 by Sam1
Hahaha...Lovely stories...Funny and weird...Joshr bad things happen to good people but always end up superficial like money or stuff...But i know your pictures are more dear than money...

Might be the same theif : P was in czech tourism...and took your camera...How did he know your address??

One theif in America went into a house he heard a baby crying he took the milk warmed and fed the baby...then ran away...Hehe
14:07 October 15, 2010 by Frobobbles
The thief is of course one of the professors neighbours.
15:22 October 15, 2010 by fridayz
@Frobobbles or students!
17:08 October 15, 2010 by spo10
the thief is a computer guy! he understood the contents and backed it up for the professor. maybe he's a neighbor thief? techno thief ftw! haha
17:17 October 15, 2010 by ngecenk
hahaha to be honest this is a very generous thief.
18:01 October 15, 2010 by joshr
My address was in the bag.
19:28 October 15, 2010 by tuerd1982
Wow, interesting. Lucky professor.
22:24 October 15, 2010 by wxman
Awww, a good criminal. Let's all rejoice! Thank you so very much for not effing me up too much! I'm truly grateful.
00:35 October 16, 2010 by Potrero
I hope he scanned the memory stick for viruses.
01:15 October 16, 2010 by mojofat
He didn't have a backup of his data? What? Come on dude...back up drives are cheeeeap. Especially if you're carrying around a laptop there's no reason to not have your data backed up.
02:41 October 16, 2010 by laters
He must have had a really crappy password.
10:21 October 16, 2010 by Pacey
The thief most probably is someone who is doing research in the professor's discipline so now he has got all this treasure trove of information. It wont be too difficult to catch him as the professor says the library card hasnt been returned. Maybe the thief used the Prof's lib card to login from somewhere so that can be traced I reckon
20:18 October 16, 2010 by Sam1
Neighbour theif or not!!! In sweden most neighbours dont know each other for years :-) so he is just a theif...

a Neighbour in Kiruna is same as any one in Malmö...because you dont see him hardly, and no visits or any kind of friendly relations...So he is as good as a person in China :P
06:39 October 17, 2010 by Andersonville
*Thief * ....remember this rule: "I before E except after C"

A great story!
20:30 October 17, 2010 by Hedley
Stockholm Syndrome?
05:53 October 18, 2010 by tommygun77
three years hard work fits on a usb drive? What kind of hard work is this?? Typical academic 'hard work'.
02:01 October 19, 2010 by word
@tommygun77 - the original source TT clearly states that the professor got more than one USB drives in the mail: "USB-minnen" one USB memory stick would be "ett USB-minne".
02:05 October 19, 2010 by Jack1a
Larry Niven foretold of something very similar in his short stories regarding "flatlanders". A culture where, because of very high population density decriminalizes non-violent theft of goods from individuals: "pickpocketing". His pilfered wallet is returned, in person, almost immediately because it doesn't identify him in an earth format.

It's the decent thing to do.
Today's headlines
LIVE: Sweden's political power forum - Day Eight
Liberal Party leader Jan Björklund. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

LIVE: Sweden's political power forum - Day Eight

The Swedish Liberal Party will be hoping to score some new support after a year of plummeting in the polls when its leader Jan Björklund takes centre stage on the final day of Almedalen Week. READ  

Swedes on cusp of snail control breakthrough
Snails are enjoying a bumper year at Swedish gardeners' expense. Photo: By macrophile on Flickr via Wikimedia Commons

Swedes on cusp of snail control breakthrough

Since the spring, frequent rain has ensured prime conditions for one of the gardener’s biggest enemies - the snail. Swedish scientists, however, may have found the ultimate deterrent. READ  

Almedalen 2015
BLOG: Sweden's political power forum - Day Seven
Left Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt speaking at Almedalen 2015 on Saturday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

BLOG: Sweden's political power forum - Day Seven

It's the seventh day of Almedalen, the most important week in Swedish politics, and the Left Party is running the show. The Local is live blogging the key moments. READ  

Russian bombers seen off Swedish coast
A Russian Tu-22M3 Tu-bomber. Photo: Pavel Golovkin

Russian bombers seen off Swedish coast

Swedish fighter jets were sent on Saturday morning to monitor the activity of two Russian bombers to the east of Gotland. READ  

Almedalen 2015 with the EU Commission in Sweden
'Today's refugees could be tomorrow's Zlatan'
Photo: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

'Today's refugees could be tomorrow's Zlatan'

Sweden is grappling with how to handle a large influx of asylum seekers while some other EU nations brush off responsibility – but it's important to focus on the benefits of immigration as well, high-profile panelists agreed at an Almedalen event. READ  

Almedalen 2015
Opposition head pledges lower taxes on first jobs
Sweden's Moderate party leader Anna Kinberg Batra at Almedalen. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

Opposition head pledges lower taxes on first jobs

Moderate Party leader Anna Kinberg Batra spoke about jobs in her first speech at Almedalen since becoming head of Sweden's biggest opposition party. READ  

Almedalen 2015
BLOG: Sweden's political power forum - Day Six
New Moderate Party leader Anna Kinberg Batra speaking at Almedalen. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

BLOG: Sweden's political power forum - Day Six

Anna Kinberg Batra - the new leader of Sweden's biggest opposition party, the Moderates - focused on job creation in her first speech at Almedalen, Sweden's huge week-long politics forum. READ  

Jump in solo children seeking Swedish asylum
A playground at Märsta immigration centre in Sweden. Maja Suslin/TT

Jump in solo children seeking Swedish asylum

A record 1447 unaccompanied children sought asylum in Sweden last month, figures from the Swedish Migration Board have revealed. READ  

Almedalen 2015
Cashless society faces backlash from losers
What are the downsides of a cashless society? Photo: Per Larsson/TT

Cashless society faces backlash from losers

Sweden is possibly the nearest thing the world has to a cashless society, but some Swedes are worried about the effects on rural areas, pensioners - and personal integrity. READ  

Almedalen 2015
Sweden's green leader in second Auschwitz gaffe
Åsa Romson at Sweden's Almedalen Week. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

Sweden's green leader in second Auschwitz gaffe

UPDATED: Sweden's Deputy Prime Minister and Green Party leader Åsa Romson has stirred up a storm after she placed Auschwitz in southern Germany instead of Poland, her second gaffe about the holocaust. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Learning Swedish: different rules for expats and refugees?
Sport
IN PICTURES: Thousands welcome home Sweden’s heroes
Politics
Almedalen: The Local's guide to Sweden's power players week
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Swedes soak up sun on hottest day of year
Sport
Sweden celebrates greatest sporting victory in decades
Blog updates

2 July

Som eller att (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! It happens quite often, that my students are confused over when to use “som” and when..." READ »

 

26 June

Editor’s blog, June 26th (The Local Sweden) »

"Greetings from Stockholm, We’re about to transport our newsroom to the idyllic Swedish island of Gotland for..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching: July 1st
Sponsored Article
VIP Mingle at Almedalen's hottest event
National
Swede battles slug invasion
Sponsored Article
What can we learn from Swedish women's sex habits?
National
VIDEO: Is this herring tasting clip an 'insult to Sweden'?
Gallery
Property of the week: Visby, Gotland
National
Sweden set for sunniest week of year
Gallery
People-watching: June 26th-28th
Features
The Local's essential guide to who's who in Swedish politics
National
More Swedish military exercises as Russia aggression fears grow
National
What's on in Sweden this week
Travel
Why Swedish camp sites are set for a bumper summer
National
Swedish summer's really on its way (at least according to forecasters)
Gallery
People-watching: June 24th
National
Why are southern Swedes angry about becoming 'Danish' again?
Society
Lifestyle: When to catch your favourite features on The Local
National
Is Sweden one of the world's most peaceful nations?
Sponsored Article
Harstena: Travelling to Sweden's secret islands
National
One in ten Swedish cats homeless
Sponsored Article
'I constantly evolve my Swedishness'
Gallery
Property of the week: Värmdö, Stockholm
Society
Would you eat this Swedish pizza?
National
Swedish royals' dream honeymoon
National
Swedish hospital opens first centre for male rape victims
Gallery
People-watching: June 20th-21st
Photo: TT
Lifestyle
Midsummer: The Local's guide to Sweden's craziest festival
Sponsored Article
Murder, myth and magic: Travelling to the birthplace of Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: June 17th
Sponsored Article
Gallery: Life in Sweden's secret archipelago
Society
Seven alternative names for Sweden's Prince Nicolas Paul Gustaf
National
FBI returns stolen Swedish books
National
Want to smell like Zlatan?
National
Royal joy over birth of new prince
Gallery
Property of the week: Brantevik, Simrishamn
National
How racy graffiti inspired a teacher's high school sex class
Gallery
People-watching: June 12th-14th
National
As it happened: Prince Carl Philip marries Sofia Hellqvist
Technology
Is Stockholm the world's creative capital?
National
Timeline: Julian Assange case
Sponsored Article
KTH President: ‘Sweden’s success is because of its size’
Gallery
IN PICTURES: New royal couple Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Features
Ten Swedish festivals to discover
Features
Ten reasons Stockholm is definitely way cooler than Copenhagen
National
VIDEO: Watch Swedish man rescue baby elk from cold creek
National
VIDEO: Have you seen this jet ski blunder at a Malmö hotel opening?
Sponsored Article
Why expat women are choosing Swedish natural birth control
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: Nine questions every expat should ask
Sponsored Article
The millionaire teacher who leads by tough love
Sponsored Article
How to change the world: Malmö to Mogadishu
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,216
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se