• 22
  • November
The recent theft of computers from a YMCA has created an interesting issue of criminal liability for stealing technology that contains sensitive data. The stolen computers contained personal information about the YMCA's branch members, including bank account data and credit card numbers.
While the theft did not occur in Philadelphia - the crime took place in Atlanta - the issue is intriguing to prosecutors throughout Pennsylvania. If suspects are arrested in the case, could they be charged with theft of information?
Local police believe the theft was targeting the computers themselves - not the data stored on them - but the prosecution would still have an argument that the act constituted a theft of information. The probable argument would point out that the accused person knew there would be sensitive data on the computers and proceeded with the theft.
That argument would open the door for a complicated legal battle, as the data on the YMCA computers required a password to access it. If the suspect had not breached the computer's security features and accessed the data, the criminal defense attorney could make a sound argument that the information had not truly been stolen and used to further a white collar crime such as theft of information or identity theft.
If a suspect is eventually arrested in the YMCA computer theft, it will be interesting to see what charges prosecutors bring and what strategy the criminal defense attorney counters them with.
If you have been charged with a serious crime, contact an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney to discuss potential defense strategies and weaknesses in the prosecution's case.