No reported ID thefts from district laptop
October 21, 2009
Steamboat Springs — There have been no reported illegal uses of the 1,351 Social Security numbers that were on a laptop stolen from the Steamboat Springs School District offices in February, police and district officials reported.
But police have not made any arrests in the case and are urging former and current district employees to use the free year’s worth of credit monitoring the district provided.
“Basically, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation was not able to find any identifying prints on what we submitted, which was from the vicinity of (Finance Director) Dale Mellor’s office and : the proximity of where the laptop was,” Steamboat Springs police Capt. Joel Rae said Tuesday.
On Feb. 25, district officials found that the district offices had been burglarized overnight and that a laptop containing personal information of employees for the past 10 years was stolen off of Mellor’s desk.
Police found five internal doors damaged and the laptop and a blank ledger book stolen from the office of the Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services, housed in the same building on Seventh Street.
Police said they suspect the burglars entered the building through an open door, and police at the scene said it appeared that there were fingerprints.
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Rae said there have been no reports of identity theft as a result of the theft, and Superintendent Shalee Cunningham said she has not heard of any identity theft from employees. Cunningham said the district is keeping closer tabs on the way Social Security numbers are stored but that they are still required for payroll purposes.
The spreadsheet with Social Security numbers on Mellor’s computer was left over from a previous district audit. It was protected by at least one password.
The district contacted everyone whose information was on the list and agreed to pay for a year’s worth of credit monitoring for each of them. The move cost the district $20,000.
Rae said the monitoring could help police track the thief if the data is used.
“We’re encouraging all school district employees to closely monitor the three main credit bureaus and to report any activity to the Police Department, because that may be the information that cracks the case,” he said.
Rae said police have not interviewed any suspects.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 870-6226.
The information is anonymous, and the person also could be eligible for a cash reward.