A Boston-area researcher is doing everything he can to recover the laptop that was stolen literally from under his feet.

A stolen laptop is not an uncommon occurrence, but what makes this one worthy of the $1,000 reward the owner is putting up for its unharmed return is what was on the computer.

The Dell laptop contained about two years worth of biomedical research data.

"It's really devastating," said Chris, who did not want to give his last name for fear of job ramifications.


He said the info on the laptop was research data that does not include patient or test subject personal information.

Chris said he was out to dinner earlier this month at a Central Square restaurant and had the computer in his messenger bag underneath his feet at his table. At one point a man came in and was able to swipe the bag. Once he discovered his bag and computer were gone, Chris called Cambridge police. Detectives reviewed the restaurant's surveillance footage and were able to identify the suspect leaving with Chris' bag.

A police report described the suspect as a bald black man, wearing a tan coat with beige pants and white collared shirt.

Chris said he doesn't care who the thief is or if he gets punished -- he just wants his data back.

"A thief sees it only as a device that's worth a few hundred dollars, but it means so much more to the owner," he said.

Anyone with information can call 617-349-3351.

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