Arrest made in DOT laptop theft


  • Suspect apprehended same restaurant parking lot from which the laptop was taken

  • Personal data for 133,000 pilots, commercial truck drivers and individual driver's license holders at risk

  • Authorities have not recovered the laptop

  • Law enforcement officials arrested a suspect in the theft of a laptop belonging to a Transportation Department's Office of Inspector General in the same restaurant parking lot near Miami from which the laptop was taken, according to an OIG status report released today.

    The laptop taken in July contained sensitive, personally identifiable information for 133,000 pilots, commercial truck drivers and individual driver's license holders in Florida.

    Authorities have not recovered the laptop.

    An identity risk management company reviewed the personal data involved and found no indication of data misuse, the report said.

    Transportation awarded a contract to ID Analytics Inc. of San Diego to provide data breach analysis services to determine over time whether the personal information of the thousands of license holders is exploited.

    The agency has launched an investigation with the Miami-Dade Police Department. Investigators found a small theft ring that stole laptops at and near the restaurant, loaded new operating systems and then sold the computers on the used computer market, primarily to high school students, the report said.

    An investigation continues in the theft of another Transportation OIG laptop in April during a conference in Orlando, Fla. The laptop was taken from a secure room at the conference facility.

    'No credit fraud has resulted from the theft of either laptop, and based on our investigation to date, we believe that the risk of credit fraud in the future is very low,' the report said.

    About the Author

    Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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