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Police Prepare For Multiple Identity Thefts

Many customers' personal financial information was lost in a Feb. 7-8 burglary at Mercedes-Benz of Walnut Creek on Parkside Drive.

Police are following leads and preparing for the potential that there may be many instances of identity fraud stemming from the theft of paper files containing Mercedes-Benz customers' personal financial information two weeks ago.

"We believe at least one person’s information has been compromised but we are preparing for many more," wrote Walnut Creek Lt. Steve Gorski in an email Friday.

Walnut Creek police are investigating the threat to people's identity posed by a Feb. 7-8 break-in in which locked files of customers' private information were stolen from the Mercedes-Benz of Walnut Creek dealership. Someone pried open an outside door and an interior door to the business office.

Gorski said potential victims have been given contact information for the Walnut Creek PD. If you suspect you are at risk, you may call the WCPD at (925) 935-6400.

In a statement emailed to Patch, the Mercedes-Benz of Walnut Creek's manager said that the firm has paid a credit bureau to provide customers with a year of free credit monitoring. The full statement is attached to this post. 

Bailey Lee February 23, 2013 at 05:22 PM
You know, you can take the dealership to small claims court for damages resulting from your identity theft if that should happen. The max now is 10,000. Damages may result from denial of credit or payment of higher rates from damaged credit status. For instance, if you're forced to take a higher mortgage rate (initial or refi) bec of a lowered credit score, the damages would be way over 10,000 over the life of the loan. I'm not for suing for every bad thing that happens in life BUT if it should turn out there was negligence in addition to a delay in informing potential victims, then it's open season. As mentioned in the recent press and TV, trying to fix an erroneously damaged credit report is next to impossible thanks to the CREDIT CARTEL (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion).
Leonard Vinci February 23, 2013 at 07:36 PM
My god...they broke in February 7th or 8th...why the two dates? Another interesting issue...someone pried open the outside door and the interior door to the business office. What was the security system doing during all this action? It appears all your damn cars have a better security system than the entire facility. This is very hard to believe and understand. Or did the alarm system go off, but because the City Cops were too busy watching all the bars and restaurants in town. Something does not sound right. Prying two secured doors open, entering the business office and and knowing which files to go to then prying open those locked files....removing I am sure hundreds and hundreds of file folders into I guess some trash bags and carrying them out to a vehicle parked in waiting....WOW...That's all I have to say is WOW
Gr8Wahl February 23, 2013 at 11:58 PM
My husband leased a car from Concord Toyota several years ago and his identity was stolen by some employees.We were NEVER contacted and didn't find out until we received a notice from the Alameda DA saying we owed At&t $2,700.We investigated further because we had never had an At&t account and found out that the id thieves had used my husbands office address as their home address.We resolved the issue with no credit damage but somewhere between 1,000 and 1,400 people were affected.The id thieves names and ages were in the Contra Costa Times.I have no idea was happened to the case or the other victims.
Valerie Sloven February 24, 2013 at 02:58 AM
@Gr8Wahl: We also had our information stolen from Concord Toyota. I believe it was in 2007. When we realized someone was using our identity we contacted the police and we were told inadvertently that they were investigating Concord Toyota. If memory serves me correctly it was a janitorial crew contracted by Concord Toyota who was stealing the information. The personal information was filed by area and not alphabetically which made it easier for the police to get to the source.
srl99 February 25, 2013 at 01:56 AM
Large credit issuers have calculated that it's cheaper (for them!) to be careless when opening new accounts, rather than actually verifying the identity of the applicant. This isn't identity theft, it's identity gift. Congress should pass legislation to make this sloppiness illegal. In the meantime, you can contact each of the credit bureaus and put a "freeze" on your account. You don't have to pay for this "service", you're trying to prevent your credit from being hijacked.

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