...(T)he robber “stole the entomologist’s wallet containing his rent money and credit cards, his newly purchased laptop, and an external hard drive containing scientific data.” That 1-terabyte hard drive held “all his research data and lectures” ...
So what's the lesson. If you back up your computer on an external drive, you are protected from some kind of computer malfunction. But you are not protected from a loss of both when carried together.
Back up either to an external drive that is in a different location from your computer or back up to "the cloud." UCLA faculty, students and staff, by the way, have free access to cloud storage on "Box." Info at: