THIEVES took a laptop computer and important Government documents from a car stuck in deep snow near Holmfirth.
It has emerged that the thieves raided the car, which had been abandoned by a Government education consultant on a moorland road.
The victim, 60-year-old Arthur Ivatts, is also a Government inspector of schools. He has offered a reward for any items that are returned.
He had been working in Kent and was driving home to Dobcross when his BMW estate car got stuck in drifting snow during a blizzard on Greenfield Road at about 9pm on Friday, February 24.
He was near another car, which was also stuck in a drift. He and the other driver tried to get their cars going again, but it was a hopeless task.
They thought they would be stuck on the moor all night, but then a couple more cars appeared. They flagged the drivers down and warned them of the danger ahead.
The other drivers offered them lifts. A Nottinghamshire couple gave Mr Ivatts a lift home.
But he left his laptop, briefcase and documents in the car.
"I was just so relieved to get away from the moor," he said. "It was a life-threatening situation."
When he returned to Greenfield Road to dig out the car at about 10am the next day he discovered that thieves had been.
"The people who stole are plunderers who have taken advantage of someone else's crisis," said Mr Ivatts.
"The Dell laptop computer contains confidential Government documents. The briefcase had Government documents in it. I'm anxious to retrieve these and my Government identity cards."
The thieves also took a holdall containing clothes, including skiwear, and the car's CD changer.
Anyone wanting the reward should contact the Examiner's crime reporter, Andrew Hirst, on 01484 437762 or e-mail andrew. email@example.com