Laptop theft a crisis for Rutgers student

A Rutgers University student is in dire straits for a common foible — failing to back up stuff on the computer.

Five years of the student’s doctoral research disappeared last week. It had been kept on a laptop that was stolen April 19 from a university chemistry building in New Brunswick, N.J.

With his thesis defense looming, the chemistry doctoral student put up fliers around campus offering to pay $1,000 to get his research back.

“If you stole my laptop and now you are reading this letter, I would like to say that you can keep the computer and I would like to pay you money for my data under D drive. The data is my FIVE-YEAR work,” the flier reads, describing the computer folder holding his thesis information.

“I only need that folder for my thesis defense, which is coming very soon. I would like to pay you $1,000 and use whatever way you offer to send you the money. The price is negotiable. … PLEASE contact me and I would appreciate it so so much!!!” His plight has spread quickly online. Another graduate student saw the flier Tuesday and posted a photo of it to Facebook. By Friday, the photo had been shared more than 30,000 times, in part due to its popularity on Reddit, the social sharing and discussion site.

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Published by The Philadelphia Inquirer South Jersey edition

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