updated 2/12/2007 11:50:41 AM ET 2007-02-12T16:50:41

Between three and four FBI laptop computers are lost or stolen each month on average and the agency is unable to say in many instances whether information on the machines is sensitive or classified, the Justice Department's inspector general said Monday.

The inspector general said the FBI is doing a better job of reducing the number of thefts and disappearances of weapons and laptop computers, but that not all problems were corrected as urged in a report five years ago.

"Perhaps most troubling, the FBI could not determine in many cases whether the lost or stolen laptop computers contained sensitive or classified information," said the report. "Such information may include case information, personal identifying information, or classified information on FBI operations."

In a report five years ago, the inspector general said 354 weapons and 317 laptop computers were lost or stolen during a 28-month review.

The new report found that 160 weapons and 160 laptop computers were lost or stolen over a 44-month period.

The FBI said it was preparing a response to the report.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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