South Leeds Man’s Stolen Laptop Riddle – Data Protection: Protecting Who?

I came across this article in Friday’s (7/1/11) Yorkshire Evening Post (see link here for the  full article).  The article is about a man who was burgled in South Leeds losing £35k of personal belongings including a laptop with a clever piece of software installed – it tells him where it is using the ISP of the person connected to the internet. 

 Mr Cadman’s told the police on at least 3 occasions ‘where’ the laptop is (started off in Middleton and then moved to Harrogate) but, due to Data Protection Act, the Police have to apply for permission from the Home Office to get the address information from the Internet Service Provider and this takes 30 days.  Who knows where the laptop will be by then. 

I think Mr Cadman is quite right when he says “”As far as I am concerned, they left their rights to privacy at the door when they broke into my house, stole £15,000 of equipment and took off in my beloved £20,000 car.” 

What do you think?