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Keep Personal Information Protected to Avoid Identity Theft

A recent burglary in the Omaha Metro area proves the importance of protecting personal information to avoid identity theft. A Sarpy County family is still recovering from a recent burglary where thieves broke in through a back door and took social security numbers and other personal information.

It is important to keep personal information locked up, even when it is in your own house. Thieves commonly look for billing statements, social security cards, birth certificates, and other documents containing personal information. This information can be more valuable than jewelry and high dollar electronics. An identity thief will use this information to open credit cards, bank accounts, and other accounts in your name leading to hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt.

Here are a few simple steps to help avoid identity theft

  1. Do not keep unneeded information around the house
    Shred documents that you no longer need to avoid stockpiling valuable personal information.
  2. Keep important documents locked up
    When you need to keep information around, keep in locked in a secure location or in a bank safe deposit box.
  3. Routinely clean out your car
    Do not keep junk mail or account statements in your car. Car thieves often look for paper in cars that could contain personal information.

Here is the story from WOWT Channel 6 News, Omaha:

Daytime burglars smash their way into the lives of a Sarpy County family. The victims are educators working at school when their home is ransacked. But the suspects’ greed may get them caught.

Thieves entering through a shattered deck door don’t leave any room or drawer untouched. Mike Pokorski the burglary victim says, “They got everything in the house that was of value.”

Pokorski estimates nine thousand dollars in valuables and priceless personal information. Pokorski says, “They took my kids social security numbers, cards birth certificates ”

But there’s a lead that might tie suspects to the crime. Among the belongings stolen by the ransacking burglars a pair of new shoes they tried to return. That lead investigators to a store and security camera pictures of possible suspects.

Sarpy County Deputy Dana Harrah says, “They also used Kohl’s gift card that was stolen from the victim’s house so it leads us to believe these three individuals are responsible for the burglary.”

A third suspect joins the male and female at the counter. If they’re identified the ransack burglary might be solved. Pokorski says, “It just has that real dirty feel to it to know that they’ve been through some of our most intimate possessions.”

He is a teacher who learned that installing an alarm system is good protection from daytime burglars who stole away his families feeling of security at home.

A handgun stolen from the homeowner’s safe has been recovered. That’s given the detective a lead on the two male suspects. But the female is still unidentified. If you can help call Sarpy County crime stoppers at 592-STOP.

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