• Sweden's news in English
 

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
Wet July dampens Swedes' summer spirit
Rain in Stockholm. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

Wet July dampens Swedes' summer spirit

Swedes complaining about the disappointing summer were vindicated after meterologists revealed on Friday that July indeed finished wetter – but warmer – than normal. READ  

Swedes get set for new money, money, money
Christina Wejshammar of Sweden's central bank. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Swedes get set for new money, money, money

A new smartphone app is set to help Swedes navigate the biggest switch in bank notes the country has ever seen with only two months to go before the new cash is introduced. READ  

Bananas free Swedish man from speeding fine
These are not the bananas on trial. Photo: Leif R Jansson/SCANPIX

Bananas free Swedish man from speeding fine

A Swedish driver has escaped speeding tickets in court – because the offender was eating a banana. If that sounds bananas to you, keep reading. READ  

Swedish farm mystery as pigs vanish without trace
Schörling suspects that the swine, which have a value of around 65,000 kronor, were stolen. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/SCANPIX

Swedish farm mystery as pigs vanish without trace

UPDATED: A Swedish farmer is mystified about the disappearance of 64 pigs from his farmyard in the town of Vingåker, central Sweden. READ  

Snoop Dogg's initial drug test positive say police
Snoop Dogg in concert in Uppsala. Photo: Marcus Ericsson / TT

Snoop Dogg's initial drug test positive say police

Initial tests suggest that US rapper Snoop Dogg was under the influence when he was arrested by Swedish police after performing at a gig last weekend, a police spokesman told The Local on Friday. READ  

Mining behind Swedish 'earthquake' say experts
The Malmberget mine in northern Sweden. Photo: Carl-Johan Utsi/TT

Mining behind Swedish 'earthquake' say experts

On Friday Sweden awoke to news of the second earthquake in less than a week, this time in the far north of the country. But a seismologist told The Local that the tremors were the result of mining activity. READ  

Concerns over 'too Swedish' police force
Swedish police are struggling to attract people from foreign backgrounds. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Concerns over 'too Swedish' police force

UPDATED: Swedish police academies expressed concern on Friday over a sharp decline in the number of foreign-born future officers. READ  

The Local Recipes
How to throw your own Swedish crayfish party
Swedish crayfish party. Photo: Carolina Romare/imagebank.sweden.se

How to throw your own Swedish crayfish party

August crayfish parties are one of the highlights of the Swedish calendar and appeal to people of all ages. Food writer John Duxbury shares his best tips with The Local for making your own crayfish party a success. READ  

Sweden to crack down on silly police reports
A police spokesman told The Local they receive many complaints from people who lose their car keys. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/SCANPIX

Sweden to crack down on silly police reports

The Swedish government announced on Thursday that is is going to launch an investigation into valuable police time being wasted by officers forced to deal with unnecessary reports and complaints. READ  

Booming exports boost for Sweden's economy
The Swedish economy is growing. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Booming exports boost for Sweden's economy

Figures showing a surprise financial growth spurt in the second quarter of the year have been hailed as proof that Sweden's economy is on the road to recovery. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Technology
Modern mugging: Swedish thieves use smartphone app to rob man
Lifestyle
Five fun festivals to get you partying in Sweden this week
National
How a century-old Russian sub wreck got Sweden into a frenzy
Gallery
People-watching: July 29th
National
How to become a Swedish woman
Blog updates

31 July

Editor’s blog, July 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Dear readers, As the Stockholm Pride Festival kicked off this week, we spoke to the chairman of..." READ »

 

15 July

Climate Change: A New Risk Assessment (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world today.   The UK is..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Free bus cards for refugees in Sweden
Lifestyle
New snaps of Sweden's baby prince
National
Why are Swedes so scared of Russian submarines?
Gallery
Property of the week: Simrishamn, Skåne
National
Why has Snoop Dogg said he will never return to Sweden?
Sponsored Article
Getting pregnant the Swedish way
Features
Five outrageously harsh tourist comments about Sweden
Sponsored Article
Why is Sweden still working with Russia?
Gallery
People-watching: July 24th-26th
Travel
Seven ways to beat the Swedish rain
National
Should Sweden's alcohol stores be open on weekends?
National
How to become a Swedish man
Gallery
People-watching: July 22nd
Lifestyle
How to never miss your favourite features on The Local
National
Royal husband on 'breadwinner' role
National
Stockholm to ban all cars for one day
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Gallery
Property of the week: Sölvesborg, Blekinge
National
Questions over who would replace Swedish PM in a crisis
Gallery
People-watching: July 17th-19th
National
Why are Swedish women joining Isis?
Travel
Ten Stockholm streets you just have to walk down
Sponsored Article
'Swedish women must demand their partners use a condom'
Sport
Did UK football parents threaten Swedish kids?
Technology
Stockholm scientists find world's oldest sperm
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th
National
Angry Swede uses bird nest as fake speed camera
National
Meatball row as Ikea changes recipe
National
Sweden's new princess in spotlight
National
Slimy slugs go on sale to raise cash for EU migrants in Sweden
National
Crown Princess Victoria turns 38
Sponsored Article
Harstena: Life in Sweden's secret archipelago
National
Is this the best marriage proposal story in Malmö's history?
Sponsored Article
'Biofuels critical for climate-friendly flights'
Sponsored Article
Gaps don't have to kill your Swedish CV
National
Why summer could be the best time to invest in a Swedish property
Gallery
Property of the week: Bollnäs, Hälsingland
National
Swedish house on sale for one krona
National
Would you give this ugly food a home?
Gallery
People-watching: July 10th-12th
Travel
Foreign hikers in Sweden set to get more help in English
National
Prince Nicolas enjoys first summer
National
Meet the amazing Swedish granny who loves theme parks
National
Stockholm to host Eurovision 2016
Sponsored Article
'Swedish industry needs US trade deal'
Sponsored Article
Sweden's 'incredible' chance to connect
Sponsored Article
'Today's refugees could be tomorrow's Zlatan'
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Sponsored Article
‘I don’t feel Swedish, I feel international’
Sponsored Article
VIP Mingle at Almedalen's hottest event
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

3,287
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