Lamahede's appeal to the thief who stole the only happy memories he had of 2014. Photo by Laura Wenus

The countdown to the weekend commences, but first: the Afternoon Report!

In related news to yesterday’s report on smash-and-grabs, we bring you this cautionary tale and call to action: Sudarshan Lamkhede had parked his car on 17th Street between Mission and Valencia on the cold evening of December 30 and unfortunate, though familiar, fate befell him. While taking his family to an Indian restaurant nearby, he returned some time later to find his window smashed and a backpack containing a laptop, camera, lenses, memory cards, and thumb drives all gone.

The dinner was just a short stop on the family’s trip from San Jose to Napa, and in the rush to get the kids out of the car and into the warmth of the restaurant, Lamkhede said he completely forgot about the electronics in his car. Normally, he said, he’s very cautious and never leaves anything valuable in his vehicle, not even in the trunk. This one exception was enough to prove disastrous.

The stolen electronics had memory drives containing photos of his family, including footage of Lamkhede’s son’s first steps. Lamkhede’s father had passed away in 2014, and the laptop contained copies of documents related to his hospital visit—as well as files related to his work and mortgage. “It’s been a tough year,” he said.

“The only good memories are that my son started walking and talking and we captured all of this on my camera. And the only copies of those are available on that laptop,” Lamkhede said.

So Lamkhede began an intensive search to recover his property. He immediately filed a police report by phone, and when nobody followed up on it, went to Mission Station to file one in person and receive a case number. He reached out to residents of the buildings where the car was parked and even managed to find surveillance footage of the theft showing that it occurred at 8:23 p.m. and which way the perpetrator went — but not clear enough to identify anyone. Lamkhede was also able to remotely ascertain that his laptop had pinged the xfinity wi-fi router near the BART plaza, but that was the last sign of his belongings he could find.

Now, Lamkhede has placed flyers along 17th and Mission Streets down to the BART plaza asking for the return of his documents.

“I don’t care so much about the monetary value of the hardware as long as I have all the data intact,” he said. In his flyer, he promises that there will be no repercussions for anyone who returns his data to him — in fact, he promises that the thief may keep the electronics and collect a reward to boot.

Anyone with information that might help recover the stolen data may call (650) 793-6643.

This has been your Afternoon Report—a series in which we offer a quickie post-meridian rundown of some minor developments in the always-happening streets of the Mission District. Got ideas or suggestions? Let us know what you think by sending an email to

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