It’s every laptop owner’s worst nightmare.
When Anna Sproul-Latimer left her laptop on an Amtrak, like most people, she thought she might never see it again. That was, until she launched her own online investigation to find it, and a local IT salesperson-turned Good Samaritan swooped in to help her track it down.
“I lose things all the time, and I’ve gotten very, very good at finding them again,” Sproul-Latimer said told “Good Morning America.”
Are you ready for a story that has single-handedly restored my faith in humanity, ending in a shameless plug for this local IT business owner, Imran Moorad of Dotsight Solutions, everybody please hire him? pic.twitter.com/2WqGL2wb6y
— Anna Sproul-Latimer (@annasproul) October 8, 2019
The literary agent from Arlington, Virginia, didn’t realize until she got home that she had left her laptop on the Amtrak train ride from New York City to D.C. Knowing the drill on lost electronics, she said she used the Find My iPhone app and located her laptop in Woodbridge, Virginia.
At first, Sproul-Latimer said she assumed that her cab driver had found her laptop in the backseat and taken it home with him for safe-keeping. When she called the cab company, however, they told her the employee did not live in Woodbridge.
Then she called Amtrak and was told that it was against their company policy to take lost items off property. She realized her laptop was likely stolen.
"I began to get depressed and panicked and sad when I realized that whoever had [my laptop] … was a bad actor," Sproul-Latimer said.
Still determined, she left messages on her computer through Find My iPhone -- at first polite messages requesting help and then later messages of righteous anger demanding its return.
Before anyone could wipe the laptop and take it off the grid, she said she memorized its last listed location -- a nice residential area in Woodbridge.
“I lost momentum, and I was like, who am I kidding? This is never going to work out,” Sproul-Latimer said.
She tried calling the police in her area, but there wasn't much that could be done since the laptop went missing in a state outside of the police's jurisdiction. They told her that the most they could do is accompany her to the last listed location -- a prospect that even with a police escort could prove dangerous.
“This is a MacBook Pro. My life is worth at least two MacBook Pros,” Sproul-Latimer joked.
In the meantime, she bought a new laptop, but hadn’t given up her search. She went to Google Earth and mapped the last location. Online, she found contact information for a couple who lived in the neighborhood. She took a chance and emailed them informing them of her hunt for her missing laptop. Then, she waited. She never heard back.
The neighbors received her emails, but instead of answering, instead consulted with their tech-savvy neighbor -- the founder of a computer repair and buy back company, DotSight Solutions -- to help them.
Coincidentally, the neighbor, Imran Moorad, had just returned from the Apple Store repairing a used computer he had purchased. When he heard about Sproul-Latimer’s story, he put two and two together.
Although Moorad said his company double checks every person they buy laptops from, he did some digging of his own and found that one of the serial numbers of the computers he’d done buybacks for in the last few weeks matched Sproul-Latimer's.
“She was ecstatic over the phone,” Moorad said.
Moorad and Sproul-Latimer met up soon after at a Starbucks in Alexandria. Though Moorad had spent $600 on the laptop purchase, not to mention recent upgrades, he gave it back to her, no charge.
“She offered me money for it," he said. "And I was like, 'I can’t take money from you because this belongs to you.'"
Sproul-Latimer said that she started to cry because she was touched not only by Moorad’s generosity but also by his “meaningful” choice to help her even though he had no reason to -- just because it was the “right thing” to do.
“That was the nicest thing someone has done for me in years and years,” she recalled. “He chose to do the good thing, and I think that’s something that all of us can do. But it’s something hard to do."
Sproul-Latimer took to Twitter to share the story of Moorad's act of kindness that "single-handedly restored (her) faith in humanity."
Moorad said he never considered keeping the laptop because he values honesty -- not to mention her dogged pursuit to find it.
“I was really happy to see that she was happy,” Moorad said. “When we start putting money over people’s feelings, that’s when things start going south."
He added that he has been “blown away” by her appreciation and the positive buzz online. To Moorad, even though he lost $600, Sproul-Latimer’s happiness and appreciation made it all worth it.
“Any act of kindness goes such a long way. You just don’t know what the person on the receiving end is going through,” Moorad said.