A laptop and one of the hard drives stolen from a UH Manoa professor have now been returned thanks to the help from a bounty hunter.
The theft happened Friday afternoon, while Noa Lincoln was visiting Ka'ala Farm in Waianae.
He says his SUV was parked with the windows rolled up and doors locked.
The thieves smashed through two windows and took off with two backpacks containing Lincoln's 15-inch MacBook Pro and two external hard drives.
More than 10 years of research was gone in less than 10 minutes.
"I had traveled the state and had taken 8,000 pictures of sugarcane and written this 200 page book," said Lincoln.
Lincoln dedicated years studying Hawaiian sugarcane and recently finished writing a book.
He says he was planning on taking the laptop and back up drives to the publisher for a transfer on Friday, but never made it that far.
"I really just don't think I could muster myself to do that project all over again," said Lincoln. "It was such a marathon."
Lincoln is desperate for help. He's posting flyers around the area with a stunning reward -- $2,000 for the return of his invaluable data. No questions asked.
"It was just so much time and effort and I'm really not trying to be judgmental," Lincoln said. "I have worked with a lot of broken families and I know how difficult things get for people and I know how desperate we can all get. I don't want to blame anyone. I just want it back."
Lincoln doesn't have any photos of the stolen items but describes his laptop as a 15-inch MacBook Pro covered in stickers reading "Got Science," "Eat more 'Ulu," "Kamehameha Schools," "Ohia Love" and "HPR."
The second external hard drive containing years of research data is still missing.
If you have any information, call Lincoln at 808-217-7710.