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A professor at my school walked in on a guy in his office the other day. The guy ran away but left his backpack. These are the contents, what was he making?(r/reddit.com)
The canister at the top appears to be Maxell Blast Away which is a non-flammable dusting gas used to clean electronics.
Edit: Given the visible materials, “installing a listening device” seems somewhat reasonable. The portion with the photo-cell looks like it might be intended to be disguised as some manner of surface-mount junction box. The latex finger covers were probably to avoid leaving fingerprints. The duster gas sans top, the strange looking bottle device in the middle, and the garbage bags might be unrelated. Perhaps our friend was huffing?
Having a look at the strange bottle in the middle, it looks an awful lot like a single-use home fire extinguisher which has had a portion of the bottom sawed off and stuffed into the bottom half of a plastic bottle which would be held in place with what appears to be an adjustable hose clamp. Perhaps the can of duster gas was placed inside of this and the fire extinguisher nozzle used to dispense it?
Edit Again: Below on the page there is a post about the incident from the professor in question: ilind.net/2011/05/07/manoa-grad-student-chases-sop… It appears that the box on the lower left originally had a cover with over it with a fake plug socket faceplate. This seems to support the idea that the burglar was using a driveway motion sensor as an early warning device.
Another Edit: I spoke with Ian Lind and he has agreed to send me higher resolution photos first-thing tomorrow morning. I’ll post them as soon as I get them.
GOOD NEWS EVERYONE: I spoke to Ian Lind and he was able to provide me with more pictures from the incident: imgur.com/a/OesOq