Thieves Swipe Laptops With MRDD Clients' Data

May 23, 2006

Laptop computers containing personal data on at least 100 people were stolen from a Butler County office, leaving mental health clients vulnerable to identity theft.

The three computers contained information -- including Social Security numbers -- on clients of the Department of Mental Retardation Developmental Disabilities.

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"How did this happen in a government agency we're supposed to trust?" Garwood said.

As police investigate the heist, workers at the department are tightening security.

"(We're telling them) what to do, what not to do, where to leave your computer -- lock it up when you're not there. If you're not using your laptop, take it with you," said Lori Duffey, of the Butler County MRDD.

Many of the MRDD clients affected by the theft found out only a few days ago, but the laptops were stolen last month.

Police said they don't have any leads in the case.

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