Computers stolen from welfare office

September 11, 2007

By Jan Murphy

Two computers containing the mental health histories of more than 300,000 medical-assistance recipients were stolen from a state Public Welfare Department office last month, a spokesman for Gov. Ed Rendell confirmed Monday.

The computer work stations were taken Aug. 22 during an overnight break-in at an office in the former Harrisburg State Hospital, said Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo.

The mental health information on the computers identified people by codes and not by name, Ardo said. The information also was protected by multiple passwords, he said, but full names and Social Security numbers of nearly 2,000 people were also on the computers.

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