Here's a tip for this professor: If you have really sensitive information on a notebook - information like this:
You are in possession of data from a hundred million dollar trial, sponsored by the NIH, for which I'm a consultant. This involves some of the largest companies on the planet, the NIH investigates these things through the FBI, they have been notified about this problem.
You are in possession of trade secrets from a Fortune 1000 biotech company, the largest one in the country, which I consult for. The Federal Trade Communication is very interested in this. Federal Marshals are the people who handle that.
This is the kind of data that warrants two things, IMHO: encryption of the data in question, and a hardware level password. This not to excuse the thief; far from it. On the other hand, this professor was every bit as negligent as I would be if I dashed out the door, left the door wide open, and was then stunned to discover that things had been stolen.
I hope the people who entrusted this prof with this kind of data are having second (and third, and fourth) thoughts about doing so in the future. Rest assured, someone engaged in industrial espionage would not be as careless about exposing their position as the naive thief here was.