She had been without her iPad for 10 days, and was experiencing serious withdrawal.

But Lyn Conniff, an Oak Park attorney, finally has her “favorite toy” back, thanks to the work of the Oak Park Police Department and their unique partnership with a Chicago forensics lab.

“I’m needing a recovery program,” Conniff said Friday about the time without her iPad, which fell from her handbag last week as she was loading her car to go to court.

The same morning, Nicholas Senter was on his way back home after he had dropped his daughter off at preschool. On the corner of Grove Avenue and Iowa Street, Senter came upon the iPad and, not seeing anyone in the vicinity, took it back to his house and called the police.

The officer who came to take a look thought files could be recovered from the device, even though the screen was smashed. Senter could relate.

“I thought ‘man, if I had lost my iPad, I definitely would want to try to recover everything off of it.'”

The iPad eventually got into the hands of Paul Kerley, an Oak Park detective assigned to the Chicago Regional Computer Forensics Lab on South Canal Street.

“This thing had probably been run over by two or three cars,” Kerley said.

But lab staff connected the device to a computer where the files and the name—Lyn Conniff’s iPad—could be seen.

“She was ecstatic. She couldn’t believe it,” Kerley said the day after he returned the iPad.

Kerley explained to Conniff that it was not usable, but she could power it up and upload all the information to a computer or another iPad.

“Because we’re in a partnership with RCFL, we get preferential treatment,” Kerley said about the Oak Park Police Department. In Chicago, someone might not take the time to investigate a similar situation, and other jurisdictions wouldn’t have the capability to do the same type of investigative work, Kerley said.

Conniff hasn’t made her way to the Apple store to find out about the files, but she had only good things to say about the police department’s efforts after getting her iPad back.

“I was just so happy with what the police force had done,” she said. Conniff said the department’s sophistication and capacity to handle problems make Oak Park “the greatest place in the world to live.”

Soon, she’ll have access to her book on Kindle, her New York Times application and—most importantly—photos of her family in Australia.

But for now, “probably grafting (the device) to my left arm is the best idea.”

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