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Personal data at risk after Pa. DOT robbery

Thieves who broke into a driver's license center stole equipment to make fraudulent licenses and got away with computers containing personal information on more than 11,000 customers, officials said Thursday.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Thieves stole equipment from a driver’s license center and got away with computers containing personal information on more than 11,000 people, state officials said Thursday.

The thieves got a camera and a printer during the break-in late Tuesday, plus enough card stock and laminate to make about 750 fake licenses, said Betty Serian, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation deputy secretary, at a news conference Thursday.

They also stole two computers containing data on 11,384 people.

The information included names, addresses, dates of birth, drivers’ license numbers and at least partial Social Security numbers. The data included complete Social Security numbers for 5,348 people, officials said.

“That theft of customer information does put some of our customers at risk for identity theft,” Serian said. “The most appropriate course of action is to assume that thieves will access that data and use that data.”

The state will mail notification letters to affected people, report the breach to credit bureaus and offer free credit checks for up to one year, Serian said.

In response to the theft, the Transportation Department has made subtle changes to all new driver’s licenses and is reviewing security at all 97 driver license centers.

The thieves forcibly entered through the back door and disabled a “quite complex” security system, said Capt. Donald Peters. Workers discovered the break-in the next morning.

He would not say whether police have any leads or have fielded any tips. Police have not ruled out the possibility that a transportation employee was involved, he said.