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Army's laptop loss 'incredibly embarrassing' admits Blimp

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Another laptop containing the nation's secrets has been stolen - the third in a month. The computer was nicked from a top army officer while he was queuing to check-in at Heathrow airport. The lieutenant-colonel put the machine between his feet while waiting at Terminal Three on Monday. Quick as a flash, a thief reached between his legs and made off with the £2000 laptop. According to today's Sun newspaper, the computer contained encoded confidential information on Army pay-rates and pensions. The £50,000-a-year lieutenant-colonel, who is facing an internal disciplinary probe, may have to replace the lost hardware out of his personal insurance policy. The incident, one of a spate of recent laptop thefts, was last night described by the military as "incredibly embarrassing". It has increased fears about officials carrying around the nation's secrets in public areas. An MI5 laptop was stolen from Paddington on 4 March. The machine is believed to be crammed with data crucial to the Northern Ireland peace process. Earlier an MI6 officer lost his laptop after getting sozzled in a London tapas bar. Police managed to reclaim this latter machine after MI6 bosses placed an ad in local paper the Evening Standard offering a "substantial reward" for its return. The Sun in true form today came up with a suggestion. Under the headline "Chain 'em up!", the Sun's military adviser, Major General Ken Perkin, said: "Why don't these people have their laptop chained to one hand? "At least that wouldn't stop them using their other hand if they wanted to go drinking." ® Related Stories Sneak thief steals secrets in MI5 laptop Second spy loses laptop

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