Callous laptop thieves steal grandfather’s life tale

A retired Dacorum businessman has told how he lost a chapter of his autobiography after thieves stole his laptop containing the crucial files.

Friday, 30th January 2015, 10:00 am
David Furnell

David Furnell, 67, had his Macbook Air stolen from his Mitsibushi Outlander as it was parked on his driveway in Castle Hill Avenue overnight between January 20 and 21.

Mr Furnell, who was recently made a Freemason of the Borough, had been writing down anecdotes from his life on his laptop to serve as a record for his grandchildren.

But he was dismayed to find that the last chapter – which had taken him two days to write – had been lost after the laptop was stolen because he forgot to back it up.

Mr Furnell, who set up Furnell Transport in 1967, said of the lost chapter: “It’s never quite the same if you have to write it again. It’s annoying more than anything, but it does put you off.

“It was just a record for my grandchildren really, before the Grim Reaper comes for me!”

The chapter detailed memories of when he flew with famous racing drivers Graham Hill and Colin Chapman at Elstree when he was just 18.

It is thought the thieves broke into the high-end car using a tool to bypass the keyless ignition before swiping the laptop and his TomTom satnav.

Mr Furnell’s work coat and toolbox were found strewn along the road by his wife Melanie, who was left ‘shaken’ by the thefts.

The father-of-two told of how he had received an email from Apple requesting a password change after the thieves logged on to his laptop.

He said: “Of course I got it blocked straight away so it’s just a worthless piece of aluminium now.”

Just days ago police warned that tech-savvy crooks were targeting high-value ‘keyless’ cars by cloning the devices or using electronic hacking equipment.

They advise storing key-fobs in metal boxes as far away as possible from the vehicle within your home and ensuring that ‘home’ on its sat nav is that of your nearest police station and not your actual home address.

Mr Furnell, who is dad to Emma, who lives in Hemel Hempstead and Claire who lives in Apsley, said: “I didn’t know they were targeting cars with keyless ignition until my friend was talking about it the other day. I want to warn people to be vigilant.”