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Thieves make off with MIT student’s laptop — and thesis

A 23-year-old aeronautics student’s academic future is up in the airafter his laptop – which contained his master’s degree research – wasstolen from a backpack he left in his car at Burnaby Lake, B.C.

A 23-year-old aeronautics student’s academic future is up in the air after his laptop – which contained his master’s degree research – was stolen from a backpack he left in his car at Burnaby Lake, B.C.

“I was just devastated,” said Russell Stratton, who’s home for the holidays between finishing a master’s program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and applying to a PhD program.

“I have (some of the work) backed up, but there’s probably 50 or 60 hours of work in there.”

Stratton had gone to his mother’s choir show on Sunday night and left his work in his car.

When he came out afterward, his car window was smashed and the backpack was gone.

“It had (my) textbooks, all my handwritten notes from throughout my degree, notes I made from studying for exams — which I need to write to get in the PhD program in January,” Stratton said.

Also gone was his laptop, which had the research he needed to get into the PhD program, and $150 in cash — a Christmas gift from his dad.

Stratton’s father returned to the park yesterday and found the backpack in a dumpster, along with the textbooks and notes. There was no sign of the computer.

He said it’s not about the money, but the work — which is useless to anyone who isn’t interested in aircraft design and aeronautics — and he’d be happy just to get the hard drive back.

 
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