Thieves Steal Electronics from Corporate Offices Using Simple Techniques

Two men stole 13 laptop computers and other electronic equipment Monday night from an Exton company that works closely with the U.S. Defense Department and military contractors.

Police in East Whiteland were investigating similar thefts in the Malvern area that occurred Monday and Tuesday nights.

The Exton company, Analytical Graphics Inc., said yesterday that there was no sensitive information on the stolen computers and, citing footage from security cameras, described the culprits as two middle-aged men who were wearing casual business attire.

"We do have sensitive data, but it's stored in more secure systems," said Michael Limcangco, the company's director of information systems. "Anything that might be more sensitive is not on portable computers."

Analytical Graphics works with the North American Aerospace Defense Command and military contractors such as Lockheed Martin Corp. It specializes in satellite tracking and data management, and on Christmas Eve, as part of an annual holiday stunt, it "tracked" Santa Claus for the government.

Limcangco said the two men slipped into the Valley Creek Corporate Center office by catching the door as someone left the building.

They then walked into the elevator, at one point making casual conversation, and proceeded to take laptops and digital projectors from throughout the company's offices, which are on three of the building's four floors.

They left with about $30,000 worth of electronics about 7:20 p.m., a half hour after entering the building, Limcangco said.

He said employees did not sound the alarm because the company has hired several new people over several months, and it has a laid-back culture.

East Whiteland police said that thieves stole 10 laptops from three companies based in a small corporate center on Lindenwood Drive and that it was possible that all of the thefts were related.

"The time frame looks to be the same," East Whiteland Police Detective Mark Ercole said.

Ercole and West Whiteland Detective Christopher S. Sherman said there were no signs of forced entry and no one was injured.

"Something like this is not the work of a thief who might go into your house or go into a store," Sherman said. "Was it planned out? I can't say for sure."