Location Of Theft in AQUA BLUE
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Theft Description In Body Of Article in RED

Thursday, November 24, 2011


17 computers stolen from DHS during separate burglaries remains a mystery

The locks were changed after the second incident. Police say entry 'was not forced.'

Seventeen computers belonging to the Iowa Department of Human Services were stolen during a pair of burglaries in September.
When employees of the department’s Pottawattamie County office arrived for work Sept. 26, they noticed nine social workers’ laptop computers were missing.
Police determined that entry to the office “was not forced,” said Department of Human Services spokesman Roger Munns.
“There have been issues with the doors not closing correctly,” he said.
Employees of the office were instructed to make sure the office doors were locked when they left for the evening, but the following Friday morning the employees noticed eight additional laptop computers were missing from the office.
Munns said a department manager who lives near the office had checked the doors at 10:15 p.m. the previous evening and they were locked.
In the eight weeks since the two thefts, all phones, laptops, and other portable devices have either been taken home by the staff at the end of the day or placed in a locked room inside the building, Munns said. The door locks have been changed and the county is in the process of getting estimates for installing an electronic-key entry system.
Munns said all of the stolen computers were five to six years old and were scheduled for replacement.
The auction value for each of them was estimated to be $50 or less, he said.
“The machines would be of no value unless someone loaded new software,” he said.
No client information was stored on the computers, he added.
Each computer was password-protected and was used only to gain remote access to the department’s central computer system where client information is stored
“They will shut down if the person does not enter the correct user name and password within three tries,” Munns said.
“If the correct password and user name was entered into any of the stolen machines, the encryption system would shut down the stolen machine. Literally, the operating system would be instantly erased.”

10:55 PM, Nov. 23, 2011 

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