Last thursday I flew from Italy to Manchester as usual, and while walking home from Levenshulme railway station my laptop has been snatched off me by a gang of thieves.
I've managed to give the police all the details of the laptop including the serial number. I could also precisely describe to them the dynamics of the incident pointing at places over satellite maps in google maps. And give them the time of the theft with 10 seconds accuracy. And show them pictures of all stolen goods with a few simple internet searches. They were impressed.
All sensitive data in the laptop are protected with one or two layers of strong encryption, and I have fresh backups, so the only work that I've lost was the work I did on the train and airplane on my way to the UK.
If anyone around Manchester or Stockport happens to see, in a Cash Generator or second hand shop, a suspicious looking white ASUS laptop with a Taiwanese keyboard (US-style keyboard with extra Traditional Chinese and Bopomofo glyphs on it), please quietly walk out of the shop, alert the police and send me an e-mail.
The day after the theft I managed to talk with a pub owner in the area, and there I learnt that pubs are networked and alert each other when suspicious people are roaming around. Lesson learned: if I see suspicious people around the street whem I'm walking home with my laptop, it's a good idea to go inside a pub and ask how's the situation. That night, for example, they've been alerting their customers of the danger. I wish the railway station had done the same.