I had an interesting experience today. I went to a client’s office to do some work on one of their computers, and walked into a conversation between two women who work there. They mentioned how convenient it was that I showed up there at that time. One woman’s son had been hired to clean up around the building, and had found a computer behind the building. It seemed like a fairly new machine, so it was strange that it was just sitting there. It was also a Dell system, and that office doesn’t buy Dell (thanks to me) so they were mystified as to its origin. However, they couldn’t get into it because it was password-protected. The son had opened the machine up and decided he would take out the memory and other parts if they couldn’t get past the password.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I reset the Administrator password, and logged into the computer. It was set up to log into a corporate file server, so there weren’t a lot of identifying files. However, I was able to find their UPS shipping software, and got the contact information for the company and user who owned the computer. The women agreed with me that they should call and find out if this machine was missing. It turns out that the company that owned it had had a break-in at 4AM on Monday morning. The computer was stolen. They were relieved that we had recovered it, and would be picking it up later today. The son was disappointed that he wasn’t going to get a free computer upgrade, but decided that he had done his good deed for the day.
It was cool to find myself on the other side of the lost property equation, after having benefited a couple of times in the past few months from someone who did the right thing. I’m glad I could help someone else feel the same kind of relief that I felt when my stuff was returned.