13 June 2006

FBI Request for Investigative Information

FBI Request for Investigative Information Relating to Veterans Affairs
Stolen Laptop

Distribution: This information is appropriate for public dissemination.

The FBI is currently working with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office
of the Inspector General (VA-OIG) and the Montgomery County Department of
Police (MCDP) to recover a stolen laptop computer and external hard drive
containing the personal identifying information of 26.5 million US veterans.
The identifying information is the property of the US Department of Veterans
Affairs (VA). The laptop computer and external hard drive were stolen from
a private residence in Montgomery County, Maryland, during the course of a
burglary on 05/03/2006. At this stage of the investigation, there is no
evidence that the suspect(s) responsible for the theft had any knowledge of
what information was stored on the hard drive. The joint investigation into
the identity of the subject(s) is ongoing. Much information pertaining to
this matter has been reported by multiple news organizations throughout the
past month.

At this time, the primary objective of the investigation is the recovery of
the laptop and external hard drive. The FBI is appealing to InfraGard
members for any information that may lead to the recovery of the laptop
and/or hard drive, and the data they contained. Anyone who can provide
information leading to the recovery of these items should call Crime Solvers
of Montgomery County at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). There is a cash reward of
$50,000 for information provided to the Crime Solvers tip line that leads to
the recovery of these items.

If you are a US Veteran discharged after 1975, please closely monitor your
bank statements and take recommended steps to protect yourself against
identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission has produced a booklet
entitled "TAKE CHARGE: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft". Its contents
are available at www.consumer.gov/idtheft or you can call 1-877-438-4338.
Additionally, the Department of Veterans Affairs will post updated
information about this matter for Veterans to www.firstgov.gov/veteransinfo
or call 1-800-333-4636.


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