A man whose laptop was stolen has had the shock of his life after receiving a message from the thief who explained why he had to take the device. The thief also gave the owner a copy of the research proposal he was writing on his computer.

The laptop owner, who has the Twitter handle @Zweli_Thixo and claims to be based in Pretoria, South Africa, shared a screenshot of the said email on the microblogging platform Sunday, as reported by NDTV.

"They stole my laptop last night and they sent me an email using my email, I have mixed emotions now," he wrote in the caption.

In the screenshot, one could see the thief's message, which apparently detailed his reason for committing such an act.

"I stole your laptop yesterday. I needed the money as I have been struggling to make ends meet," it read. "I see that you were busy with a research proposal, I have attached it and if the [sic] are other files that you need please alert me before Monday 12:00 since I have found a customer."

A 'considerate' thief

The man was not the only one who had mixed reactions due to the thief's email. Like him, other Twitter users also felt all sorts of emotions after seeing the culprit's message, according to Mint.

"What a considerate thief," a netizen wrote in response to the man's tweet, which has so far amassed more than 280,000 likes on the platform.

Another netizen gave a suggestion on how the laptop owner could possibly retrieve his device. "Why not make him the same offer as the supposed buyer he found," they wrote.

Some netizens, on the other hand, shared how they would have responded to the thief's email. "I would have responded with 'I'm not worried about not getting my laptop back cause I built a tracker into it. So the police will find it regardless whether [sic] it's the location you're sending this email from, or your customer's. Have a nice day,'" one of them said.

Things did not end there, however. The laptop owner later posted an update saying he had responded to the thief and arranged to meet with him at 12:00 local time.

"As advised by the comments that I should try to buy the laptop back from the person, I managed to convince them. We meeting up today around 12:00," he wrote.

He also shared two screenshots, one of which revealed that he had offered to buy the laptop back for R5,000 (approximately $273) and that the thief would decide on their meetup's location.

As for the second screenshot, it revealed that the thief did not like the idea at first, even asking the laptop owner if he was trying to get him arrested, adding, "You think I would fall for that? The only time I would agree to this is if you make it R5000 and we going to meet on the location of my choice."

The thief then gave a warning, "No police if I see anyone else on the spot it will be the last time you hear from me."

In response to the tweet, many netizens expressed how "invested" they have been in the man's ordeal. There were also those who said they could not wait for an update.

Some people, on the other hand, suggested that cops should get involved and wished for his safety.

Representative image of a laptop Pixabay