A German writer has issued a cash plea for the return of her laptop, containing chapters of her new novel, stolen from an inner city Wellington writers' residence while on a cultural exchange.
Maike Wetzel was the Goethe-Institut inaugural writer-in-residence at the Wellington City Council's Sexton's Cottage in Thorndon.
Last month on the eve of her return to Berlin she arrived home with her 3-year-old son to find the historic Bolton St cottage's front door bolted from the inside and one of its windows smashed.
Today Wetzel announced a $500 reward for the return of the files and the stolen laptop or a $250 reward for a copy of the files or the backup copy held on an external drive.
The laptop would be worthless to the thieves or anyone who bought it because it had a German-language keyboard and components.
''It's useless to them, but it's invaluable to me,'' she said.
The lost work included two film scripts, a book for young adults and chapters from her new novel, a psychological thriller set in Berlin with one chapter set in Wellington.
Wetzel said the ''unwanted invaders'' had not coloured her feelings about Wellington, which she said was full of ''overwhelmingly friendly and polite'' people.
''It won't change my view of Wellington or New Zealand in general - in the sleepy small town where I was raised, stuff like that happened, so it's just bad luck.
''■Wetzel's laptop is a Sony (Vaio) notebook featuring these identifying codes VPC-EE 4M1E/BQP560/4 GB/640G, Serial No: 5015001946B. She can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Dominion Post
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