Thieves take teachers’ data in Elgin heist

January 15, 2006

Jeffrey Gaunt, Daily Herald Staff Writer

Computers containing information on possibly thousands of area teachers were stolen earlier this month from the Elgin office of the Illinois Education Association, authorities said Saturday.

Association representatives discovered the burglary when they re-opened the office building Jan. 3 after a weeklong holiday break, said Tim Davis, president of the Elgin Teachers Association.

Two laptops, six desktops and a digital camera were stolen, according to police reports, and Davis said some of the computers contained social security numbers for many of the association’s thousands of member teachers and school support staff.

“We’re assuming that the computers were stolen for the purpose of resale,” Davis said. “But there’s always the possibility that the data could be used for other purposes.”

The burglar — or burglars —broke into the building on the 2200 block of Point Boulevard by throwing a beer bottle through one of the office windows, according to police reports.

Association representatives sent out letters informing their members of the break-in, and suggesting everyone put a fraud alert on their credit information.

The association serves Elgin Area School District U-46, Community Unit District 300, and others, Davis said, although not all member organizations had information on the stolen computers.

Even so, the Elgin Teachers Association alone has roughly 2,400 members, Davis said.

Elgin police were unavailable for comment Saturday.

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