When someone leaves a laptop on a park bench in Sydney they probably don't expect it to turn up in a small town in New Zealand.
But that's exactly what's happened to an Adelaide student whose missing computer reappeared in Rangiora, north of Christchurch.
The student's school, which had issued him with the laptop, contacted Microsoft, which was able to track the device's slow passage across the Tasman to a house in the South Island town.
Sergeant Colin Stewart told NZ Newswire when officers in Rangiora received a call about the device, they visited the house and quickly realised the family that lived there had just returned from a cruise to Sydney.
Their 13-year-old son had found the laptop while there and taken it back home with him.
The computer would be sent back to its owner this week, he said.
Because it was taken in Australia, it was unlikely any charges would be brought, but Sgt Stewart said people had an obligation to look for the owners of lost property before taking it and the best way to do this was to hand items to police.
"Whether it's in Australia or New Zealand, the right thing to do is to try to find the owner," he said.