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 said when officers in Rangiora received a call about the device, they visited the house and quickly confirmed 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, Mr Stewart said.
He said police were treating it as the boy found it, not theft.
When the police officer knocked on the family's door and explained, they handed it over "no problem at all", Mr Stewart said.
"In actual fact too, there's no criminality involved because it happened in Australia so it's obviously, from a legal point of view, outside our jurisdiction."
He said the officer who took on the job, Constable Andy Davis, had become a "guru" with these kinds of cases.
Constable Davis had received a similar job a couple of months ago, where he helped retrieve an iPhone from an address in Woodend, Canterbury that was actually lost at a concert in Auckland.
Mr Stewart said he himself was rather surprised by the amount of information Microsoft could tell them.
"They actually knew the whole path of that laptop."
He said Microsoft even worked out the computer had travelled on a boat - due to its slow speed across the Tasman.
"It's a good story with a good outcome and probably one of the better jobs you attend to when you're in the police," Mr Stewart said.