A desperate appeal for a laptop thief to return the stolen property to its owner recently appeared at a bus stop on my road. ‘HELP A BROTHER OUT’ the sign screamed in tear-smudged ink, evidently written by a forlorn student whose entire degree was probably being wiped from the hard drive as he made his plea. The thief was offered £300 to bring it back, ‘no questions asked’.
In a testament to the fact that nothing really changes, this week I came across the following advert, placed in a newspaper in the late eighteenth century:
A MISTAKE.– Whereas a Gentleman, at the Pantheon Masquerade, last Thursday evening, put his hand into another’s pocket, and took out a small Pocket-book, with a Goldsmith’s Almanack, and put it into his own in the bustle: As there are some memorandums in it which will be of service to the owner, he requests the Gentleman send his servant with it, according to the address in the book, and he shall receive Five Shillings reward for his trouble.
I wonder whether either of these public notices were rewarded?
I doubt it, somehow.