NYPD officers could be victims of identity theft

March 5, 2009
Civilian worker charged with illegally taking information on 80K current and retired cops

A civilian official of the NYPD's pension fund has been charged with taking computer data that could be used to steal the identities of 80,000 current and retired cops, sources said.

Anthony Bonelli allegedly got into a secret backup-data warehouse on Staten Island last month and walked out with eight tapes packed with Social Security numbers, direct-deposit information for bank accounts, and other sensitive material.

The Police Department's pension fund is sending out letters today to the 80,000 potential victims, warning them of what happened and offering help if their identities are stolen.

Bonelli, 46, served as the fund's director of communications but didn't have authorized access to the site, at an undisclosed Staten Island location, where the backup data was kept on VHS-like tapes. Sources said he managed to get past a guard on Feb. 21, unplugged video cameras, and left with the stolen tapes.

Bonelli raised suspicion with comments he made at work last week.

The NYPD sent technology specialists to the site, where they discovered that the cameras had been disabled and the tapes were missing. The tapes were found at Bonelli's home when he was arrested Saturday, police said.

He was charged with computer trespass, burglary and grand larceny. Bail was set at $2 million.

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