Gone are the days of stupid thiefs
"The likelihood is that this theft was carried out in an opportunistic manner by a thief who will not realise that there is any personal data on the laptop and who may just erase what is on the hard disk in order to disguise the fact that the laptop is stolen. "
What a load of bull. All the thief needs to do is read this article (or others on the web) to get an idea of what is on the laptop.
Since data theft has spread it wings, why would the thief not have a look to see what is on there?