Blame laptop bags for rising thefts?

Research by silicon.com says that people who advertise that they're packing a laptop are more likely to have it stolen.
Written by Will Sturgeon, Contributor
Carrying a laptop in a laptop bag could increase your chances of joining the growing number of people falling prey to laptop thieves.

Just consider these police reports from some of the laptop thefts in the UK.

  • While walking along the road [the victim] is approached from behind and knocked against a wall banging his head. Offender then pulls [the victim's] laptop case off his shoulder making good his escape.
  • During the hours of darkness two unknown male offenders approach from behind, remove laptop case containing laptop and mobile phone from [the victim's] right hand. Offenders then make good escape with same in unknown direction.
  • Offenders during darkness hours approach [the victim] while getting out of his vehicle and proceed to snatch laptop bag from his shoulder and make off.

These incident reports, obtained by a Freedom of Information Act enquiry, are indicative of the types of theft and robberies happening in alarming and increasing numbers on UK streets as more people carry expensive laptops which are attractive to opportunist criminals.

And the fact the three above all involved laptops carried in a laptop case may be no coincidence.

Research conducted by silicon.com has found the vast majority of laptop users believe carrying their computer in a branded and conspicuous laptop bag puts them at far greater risk than if they use a sports bag or backpack to carry their hardware.

Criminals are looking for easy targets and a straight choice between a laptop bag, boasting a manufacturer's logo, or a backpack which could contain nothing more exciting than a gym kit or lunchbox, makes the person with the laptop bag more likely to become a bag-snatch target.

In all, 85 per cent of respondents to a silicon.com poll said they believe laptop bags make them more likely targets for criminals. Less than two per cent said they don't believe that to be the case, while 13 per cent said they believe the risk to be the same whatever type of bag you carry your laptop in.

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